Friday, June 21, 2013

Dealing With HAZE

Haze has been a particular acute problem in Southeast Asia. This is due to fires burnt to clear land for agricultural uses. This is made worse by the the dry seasons and change in wind direction. Singapore is currently experiencing smog crisis from Indonesia forest fires.

The Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) hit an all-time high of PSI 371 at 1pm on Thursday, 20 June 2013.

The PSI value gives an indication of the air quality:

PSI Value/ Descriptor
0 to 50         Good
51 - 100       Moderate
101 - 200     Unhealthy
201 - 300     Very unhealthy
Above 300    Hazardous

Air pollutants, the particles can affect our body in numerous ways. From the nose, skin (eczema), eyes, to the airways and lungs, and hearts. The important thing is to stay calm and reduce the impact of haze on health by drinking lots of water to flush away any irritants that get into the airways, and eat more vegetables and fruits to beef up our immune system. When the air is too polluted (in unhealthy range), avoid outdoor activities. For asthmatic, children, elder and individual respiratory problems, it be better to stay indoor and avoid physical activity outdoors.

For those who are interested to know how does the haze hurt our body, here's an article published by Singapore General Hospital (SGH):

The haze is expected to persist for the next few days. Take care especially mummies with young children and elderly.

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