Bangkok Is Running Out of Air Purifiers & Masks As Toxic Smog Worsens

Image: Thannaree Deepul /

Remember the N95 Mask?


They were the talk of the town and on (literally) everyone’s lips/mouth during the SARS crisis in Singapore circa 2002-2003.

That was then and Singaporeans now rarely need to have well-kept stock of surgical masks at home, as we generally have good air-quality free from polluting particles and/or airborne pathogens.

Image: SGAG

Oh, well, maybe not.

Thanks but no thanks, really.

Alas, the same cannot be said of Thailand, the land of smiles.

Out Of Stock

According to this 6 Feb ST article, Thailand has been gripped by a chronic shortage of filters and masks as Bangkok, the Thai capital, is shrouded by a blanket of lifeless toxic smog as a result of seasonal air pollution.

According to the report, “Out of stock” is the common refrain every time Bangkok fruit seller, Veerachai Roopsuwanakul, tries to buy an air purifier.

Veerachai, who now wears a face mask to filter out dust said: “We can’t find a purifier in shops or online” and added: “We never imagined the air could get so bad”.

Local retailers like Berli Jucker and Home Product Centre have been unable to keep up with demand and Berli’s Chief Executive Officer, Aswin Techajareonvikul, said the firm was looking for new suppliers of pollution masks.

With that, this appears to be a growing opportunity and “smoke” signal for “purifier makers such as Sharp or mask manufacturer 3M in the city of roughly 10 million people” to step up production to cope with the increased demand.

A drastic shift in reportage

The shortage of purifiers and masks appears to be attributed to a growing haze awareness “spread[ing] rapidly among Bangkok’s residents this year.”

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Do you have a friend who’s always smiling? Watch this video and you’ll know why he or she is always so happy: