Equip yourself with knowledge about the haze here. By Dawn Chen
What is the haze? This and other facts about the haze/Photo: Atlantide Phototravel/Corbis
Hazy days are upon us again. The smoky air now seems to be a yearly affair, and occurs when clouds of smog gets blown over our island as a result of raging forest fires in Sumatra, Indonesia.
While the haze has yet to blanket our land a la Silent Hill style, it’s still a good idea to protect yourself in whatever way you can. As of this blog post, the Pollutants Standards Index (PSI) is hovering steadily in the moderate zone of 51-100. According to the National Environment Agency (NEA), a PSI reading of 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 moderate, 101-200 unhealthy, 201-300 very unhealthy, and above 300 hazardous.
The PSI is calculated based on the six worst pollutants – particulate matter (PM10), fine particulate matter (PM2.5), sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone and carbon monoxide. Breathing in an excess of these pollutants can cause respiratory infections and other heart and lung diseases, especially because tiny particles like PM10 and PM2.5 are too small to be filtered out and typically get accumulated in our lungs. Yikes.
Protect yourself from the haze by staying indoors when possible, and use an air purifier. Dr Kenny Pang, ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist from Asia Sleep Centre says these devices help remove contaminants in the air. He suggests getting one with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Absorption)-grade filter. Click here for a list of air purifiers recommended by the NEA.