Let’s face it, if you live in Singapore there is that dreaded time of the year when the city is covered by the haze and you wish you could escape to a place with clean air. In case you missed it, we published a previous article about the effects of the haze on health. Make sure to read that to gain a better understanding of how devastating it can be for your health.
Today, we are trying to find solutions to the problem and we put together a list of things you can do to reduce and even minimize your exposure to the haze and thus protect your health.
But first, let’s solve a question many people ask.
Where does this pollution come from?
What is widely known is the phenomenon that happens in Indonesia where farmers quite literally torch their fields in large scale. It is also known that the wildfires spread due to global climate change, land use changes and deforestation. However, by pointing all fingers at Indonesia as the only contributor to Singapore’s air pollution we are not seeing the whole picture.
Studies have shown that much of the year-round air pollution in Singapore comes from sources much closer to home. In the article, Dr. Erik Velasco from Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology remarked, “We have over one million cars, the second largest refinery complex in the world, all ships coming from China to Europe…we have factories…we have construction. So we have many types of emission sources (and) we are exposed to those pollutants.”
Dealing with the haze
There are some things you can do to deal with the harmful pollutants in a proactive way. Here we are covering some basic steps you can take to protect the health of those you care for.
Check the PSI and Haze indicator
Singapore has a website run by the National Environmental Agency that measures the current PSI – or level of air pollution. The website also shows guidelines recommending activities and explaining how to read the levels. Do this especially if a family member is more sensitive to the pollution. That can be of great help to avoid putting her at risk
Invest in an air purification system
In Singapore, there are times when the air quality indoors is as bad, or even worse than it is outdoors. The best ways to ensure better air quality indoors is to invest in an effective air purifier. Experts recommend that your air purifier has a 3M™ HEPA filtration system which can remove up to 99.97% of harmful air pollutants. You can find it in our online store following this link: Best Air Purifier Singapore
Mask up outdoors
Wearing a mask is a great idea on days when the pollution is high. Your mask must have a filter to ensure it can remove a large percentage of harmful pollutants from the air you breathe. It makes it easier for you to breathe and protects your health.
You might be thinking it can get a bit uncomfortable to wear a mask for too long, but think that by doing so you are not sucking in all those tiny harmful particles.
N95 masks are very effective against fine particles. Here are some models suggested by the Ministry of Health
[Image source: Ministry of Health]
Also, follow this guide from the Ministry of Health: 6 Steps to wearing the N95 mask
Try to limit driving
In Singapore, cars are a major contributor to the air pollution levels. You can reduce pollution to the air by not driving. Instead, use the public transport network which is one of the best in the world. Public transport is nearly always a viable option.
If you definitively must drive, then you should know that being inside your car does not isolate you from the toxic gasses from other cars. Sitting behind the wheel you are breathing all the exhaust from the cars ahead of you.
What to do about it? On a previous article, we discussed the exact measures you can take to achieve clean air in your car. Be sure to follow the steps mentioned there and you will be fine.
The haze causes very drying conditions so it is also important to stay hydrated during that time. You can drink more water and even spray water on your face. Some people also like to use lip balm because their lips start cracking in this dry air.
Those are our top five recommendations for dealing with the haze. Do you do any other thing that helps you stay safe? Let our community know by leaving your comment below.