It’s that time of the year again. Haze time. Illegal agriculture fires in Indonesia is causing for haze to sweep across some SouthEast Asian countries. Specifically Malaysia and Singapore as we are the closest. Here are some tips on what to do during the haze period.
Firstly, let’s talk about how bad the haze is getting this year. On Saturday (10th August) the haze levels in Miri reached hazardous levels. The Air Pollutant Index (API) reading at the Industrial Training Institute reached dangerous levels of over 300.
In Malaysia, our API is broken down into five different categories. Readings of 0-50 is good, 51-100 is moderate, 101-200 is unhealthy, 201-300 is very unhealthy, and above 300 is hazardous.
Other parts of Sarawak have been reaching unhealthy level readings as well.
Meanwhile, some places in Klang such as Johan Setia reached an unhealthy level of over 100. The haze has slowly been getting worse over the past few days. However, there are expectations that the haze will clear over after mid-September.
While it’s still here, we should all take caution so as not to impact our health.
Haze is very dangerous to our bodies because it is dust, smoke, and other dry particles flying in the air. These particles can damage our lungs if inhaled over a long period of time. Infections and more can occur as a result to long time exposure.
First and foremost, anyone facing respiratory problems such as asthma should avoid going out as much as possible. Children and the elderly should also be discouraged from going out.
Others should try to limit their outdoor physical activities so as not to be exposed to the air for too long.
Roll up your car windows whenever you drive and cover your mouth and nose whenever you are out. Masks are a good option as they provide a filter between the air and your nose and mouth.
Make sure to drink more water to help your kidneys flush out any toxins that are in your body. If possible, turn on an air purifier in your room to eliminate any toxins and particles floating in the air.
Lastly, take care of your body so that you won’t fall sick easily. This includes getting enough rest and eating healthily. Focus on foods rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Foods such as oranges, guava, and strawberries are rich in vitamin C while nuts and seeds contain vitamin E. A good source of omega-3 fatty acids are oily fish such as salmon, sardine, and mackeral.
Remember to stay safe during this hazy period and take care of yourself.