Haze is an atmospheric condition where particles, smoke, dust and moisture suspend in the air obscuring visibility. In Southeast Asia, haze poses a serious and recurring problem every year, particularly between May to October, due to the burning of forests in some countries to clear land. As most of you probably realize by now, the haze has been getting worse each year and today we wanted to discuss simple ways you can protect yourself and your family from the effects of haze exposure.
Minimise outdoor activities, especially strenuous ones such as sports and working out.
When we workout and engage in physical activities our breathing gets heavy and our lungs are open to irritants in the air. Try to minimise the time you spend outside, and keep your family otherwise occupied by planning activities at home. The fine particles in the haze are toxic and when inhaled can enter the bloodstream and underlying tissue, causing respiratory problems, headaches and a decrease in your systems immunity.
When indoors, keep all doors and windows closed.
Turn your fans on, or if you prefer, your air-con units. However, make sure that the filters are clean, and that the air being circulated inside your home is pure.
If you need to go outside, wear a mask.
Respiratory masks such as the N95 are effective when it comes to filtering out harmful particles in the air. Don't scrimp on these, either - replace them when they become soiled and distorted in shape. They can easily be bought in any polyclinic or pharmacy near you.
Boost your immune system.
Drink lots of water to flush out any toxins from your body, and do as your mother says - eat lots of fruit, leafy greens and fish filled with omega 3! It is always a good plan to stay on a healthy diet, but more so now with the haze.
Keep up to date with local air quality reports.
Recommended precautions you should take will usually be given in the
form of advisories based on the latest air condition. So it is
recommended that you check your local health authority’s website
regularly for the latest air quality update. For Singapore, you can visit http://www.nea.gov.sg/psi/.
Stay safe and be alert, everyone!