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The long-term target is to reduce people's exposure to particulate matter (PM), which the World Health Organisation (WHO) has identified as the most damaging pollutant, with a commitment to halve the number of people living in areas breaching WHO guidelines by 2025.

The proposals, outlined in the Government's Clean Air Strategy, include plans to legislate to prohibit the sale of the most polluting fuels and ensure only the cleanest stoves are available for sale by 2022.

Following a recent increase in popularity, domestic burning on stoves and open fires is now the single biggest source of particulate matter emissions.

The new National Environmental Health Profile study is going to be a collaborative effort with the Central Pollution Control Board and the State Pollution Control Board so the data can help control pollution.

Asked about government plans to improve air quality while on a visit to Chiang Mai, Prayuth said the government alone can not solve the smog problem because "everyone has contributed to" it.

"Air pollution continues to shorten lives, harm our children and reduce quality of life".

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The strategy says the measures it contains will cut the health costs of air pollution by £1.7 billion a year by 2020 and £5.3 billion by 2030.

'We must take strong, urgent action, ' said Mr Gove. But the Clean Air Strategy sets out a program of work across government, industry and society to reduce emissions coming from a wide range of sources.

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration instructed district offices to clean roads every day and spray water in the air to curb dust.

Witsanu Attavanich, associate professor of economics at Bangkok's Kasetsart University, said: 'Air pollution is really a silent killer and many Thais underestimate the danger to their health, so not many people protect themselves by wearing a facemask or installing air purifiers at home'. We are determined to clean up our environment and are taking the lead with this Clean Air Strategy. "Action to protect people's health must be a requirement, not a 'nice to have"'.

"However, we're disappointed that it doesn't include a clear commitment to adopt the World Health Organization limits for particulate matter pollution in the upcoming Environment Bill".

Officials have warned that the pollution cloud - a deadly mix of fine dust particles and other air pollutants - has become a serious threat to health.