Global_Environmental_Research_Vol.27No.1
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1. Introduction Air pollution from vegetation fire events is a serious environmental and health problem in Southeast Asia (Vadrevu et al., 2019). The smoke from these fires affects not only local areas, but also neighboring parts of Myanmar, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and other (Yin et al., 2019). A previous study countries demonstrated that air pollution from vegetation fires not only degrades the local air quality but is also a common transboundary pollutant (Targino et al., 2013). The main causes of these fires are human activities and climate factors. In upper northern Thailand (UNT), people often use fire to clear land in forested areas (32%) or burn agricultural waste (17%) (Forest Fire Control Division, 2003). Moreover, climate phenomena like El Nino also increase the fire risk by inducing hot, dry conditions in this region (Thirumalai et al., 2017). Global Environmental Research 27/2023 61-67 printed in Japan Department of Hygiene, Graduate School of Medicine, Hokkaido University Kita 15, Nishi 7, Kita-ku, Sapporo, 060-8638, Japan *Email: u.athicha@med.hokudai.ac.jp Key words: air pollution, health effects, policy, upper northern Thailand, vegetation fire events Air pollution from vegetation fire events in Thailand is a serious public health concern, particularly in the upper northern region. In response, several policies and measures have been implemented to control such fire events in this area. The objective of this study was to provide an update on the existing and current policies on vegetation fire events, their effects on air pollution and their influence on health by conducting a literature review and integrating the relevant information. The findings reveal that strict regulations prohibiting burning have had a significant effect on both air pollution and health after implementation compared to other policies. Despite increased evidence of short-term health effects from air pollution from vegetation fires, there is a need for additional research on chronic effects as well as studies that consider longer-term interventions through policies and factors that might affect exposure levels when examining the beneficial effects of policies on health impacts. Filling these knowledge gaps will help better define the potential health impacts of policies on vegetation fire events and further identify specific preventive interventions to promote health in this region in the future. Exposure to air pollution from vegetation fire events poses health risks in UNT. Most studies have consistently found an association between air pollution from Athicha UTTAJUG* Abstract vegetation fires and respiratory morbidity (Mueller et al., 2020; Uttajug et al., 2021) and mortality (Pothirat et al., 2019). A previous study has estimated that approximately 130,000 hospital visits for respiratory diseases (1.3% of total visits) were attributable to smoke haze from 2014 to 2018 (Uttajug et al., 2022a). Since 2002, Thailand has been regional taking various measures to prevent and mitigate haze problems at the levels. Thailand has also national and collaborated with other member countries the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to address transboundary haze under the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution (AATHP), which was signed in 2002 and entered into force in 2003. The agreement aims to prevent and control transboundary haze pollution through cooperative activities and mutual assistance among ASEAN members (Charusombat, 2023). As part of the national haze action plan launched in 2004, Thailand has introduced several actions to reduce air pollution from fire events. These have included promoting zero-burning campaigns and imposing strong penalties for in ©2023 AIRIES 61 The Effects of Policies and Measures for Vegetation Fire Events on Air Pollution and Human Health in Thailand: A Literature Review and Data Integration

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