The threat of haze has become all too real for Singaporeans as they continue to battle this problem almost every single year. Haze also known as smog occurs when dust particles, moisture, and smoke molecules get trapped and suspended in the air. This occurrence not only severely compromises visibility making it dangerous to travel on the roads but also causes respiratory and other health problems.
Some of the most common health issues caused by haze are conjunctivitis, throat irritation, severe cough, breathlessness, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from the negative impact of haze is by taking protective measures. Without further ado, the following is our list of 8 things you need to do during the haze attack.
This is the most basic and important tip that you need to follow if your locality is hit by a severe haze. This means even if you have an important client meeting or a very important presentation, you need to make a sincere effort to stay indoors and skip work. The best practice is to check the air quality forecast and reschedule the work to a later date. When at home make sure to close all the doors and windows to prevent the polluted air from flowing into your home.
Get Into The Habit Of Wearing A Proper Mask:
A lot of people in Singapore wear masks when they are outdoors on a daily basis. However, what most people don’t realize is that not all masks are manufactured to provide effective protection against a haze. Apart from that, a huge chunk of the Singaporean population chooses to cover their faces with napkins and handkerchiefs during the haze attack. These measures are simply not enough.
Buy and use an N95 respirator mask to ensure proper protection for you and your family members. Also, make sure to buy a mask that covers your nose and mouth completely and fits perfectly without leaving any air gap. Even if it is a clear day, get into the habit of carrying the mask along in your handbag or pocket. It’s also a good idea to keep a few N95 masks in your glove compartment for sudden hazes.
Check Singapore Air Quality Report Before Leaving The House:
Haze being a common occurrence in Singapore, the National Environment Agency and weather report agencies release hourly and real-time air quality updates on television as well as the internet. The air quality is measured in PSI short for the Pollution Standard Index. A high PSI range indicates high pollution or Haze.
To make sure you understand the pollution readings and haze forecasts, a PSI reading above 150 is considered unhealthy while a reading above 300 is hazardous. This is exactly why it’s a good idea to check the local air quality report before heading to work and avoid going outside if the PSI readings reach dangerous levels.
Keep Yourself Hydrated:
The tiny dust and smoke particles can enter your mouth leaving your throat very dry. This can, in turn, cause severe coughing and throat irritation. The best way to combat that is by keeping yourself constantly hydrated. Apart from that the toxins inhaled and absorbed by the skin put a lot of pressure on the kidneys and can create health complications.
Water helps in flushing out these toxins from your body. Set an hourly alarm to remind yourself to drink water even when you are busy at work. Also, make sure to carry a bottle of water with you whenever you head outside and sip on it whenever you get an opportunity. Apart from drinking at least 2 liters of water every day, you should also avoid drinks that cause dehydration such as coffee and alcohol.
Avoid Physically Demanding Outdoor Chores:
The high concentration of pollutants in the air can severely damage your respiratory system. This is why when trapped in the haze attack you should stay indoors. If you perform physically demanding outdoor exercises or chores during the haze you inadvertently end up inhaling high quantities of airborne particles. This is also aggravated by the fact that strenuous tasks cause you to breathe heavier which results in taking in more pollutants every time you inhale.
Wash Your Face And Hand At Regular Intervals:
Another useful tip that can keep your body healthy during a severe bout of haze is washing your face and hands every few hours. Washing your hands and face helps clear out the toxins preventing them from being absorbed by the skin or accidentally getting ingested. You should also make sure to take a shower immediately after you come home from work to wash off the residues from your body.
See A Doctor If You Experience Breathing Trouble:
A heavy haze can cause dangerous health problems and people with a history of asthma and other respiratory disorders are particularly vulnerable. This is why you need to take proper steps whenever you detect a symptom. If you are having breathing trouble or severe skin rashes, or even if you are coughing incessantly, don’t shy away from calling for medical help. Call a doctor if the symptoms are moderate. However, if the symptoms are severe call an ambulance and get yourself hospitalized.
Do Your Part In Reducing The Pollution Levels:
An atmospheric condition during a haze causes the air to trap airborne particles. This means when a haze threat is imminent you should do all you can to reduce the pollution levels. Seemingly little things such as smoking, barbecuing outside, driving polluting cars, and burning leaves add up and give strength to the haze problem. The best way forward is to keep yourself and your neighbors aware of the problem and encourage a positive change in the locality. Encourage the local people to do their part in reducing pollution levels.
Use An Air Conditioner Or Air Purifier When At Home:
Air conditioners and air purifiers can keep the air inside your home clean. For them to work properly, make sure to keep all the doors and windows closed. You can also use the air conditioner and an air purifier simultaneously if your house is caught in the middle of a severe haze. Be sure to service your aircon to make sure it is working in tip-top condition.
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