Haze readings back at 'unhealthy' levels after two days of respite

Hazy conditions in Ang Mo Kio. (FILE PHOTO: Yahoo News Singapore)

UPDATE: As of 9am on 19 September (Thursday), the 24-hr PSI readings range from 120 to 140, remaining in the “unhealthy” range. The 1-hr PM2.5 concentration readings were 11-31 µg/m3, in band I (normal).

SINGAPORE — Haze levels returned to the “unhealthy” range in most parts of Singapore on Wednesday morning (18 September).

As of 7am, the 24-hour Pollutants Standard Index (PSI) readings stood at 116 in the southern region, 107 in the eastern and western regions, 102 in the northern region and 100 in the central region, according to the National Environment Agency’s (NEA) haze microsite.

The PSI range for “unhealthy” air quality is from 101 to 200. During this, the public are advised to reduce, minimise or avoid prolonged or strenuous outdoor physical exertion.

The index readings had first gone into the “unhealthy” range on Saturday afternoon, and remained in the range until 8pm on Sunday, when readings for all regions dropped back to the “moderate” range of between 51 and 100.

However, readings in the southern and western regions crept back to the “unhealthy” range from 4pm on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the one-hour PM2.5 concentration reading for the same time stayed in the “elevated” range, from 82 in the north to 94 in the south. PM2.5 readings indicate the amount of particulate matter in the air, which the NEA says is a better measure of the current air quality.

The health impact of haze is dependent on individuals’ health status, the PSI level, and the duration and intensity of outdoor activity. Reducing outdoor activities and physical exertion can help limit the ill effects from haze exposure.

The public is advised to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Those with chronic heart and lung conditions should ensure that medications are on hand and readily available.

Vulnerable persons – especially the elderly, pregnant women, children and those with chronic heart and lung conditions who develop symptoms or feel unwell – should seek medical attention promptly.

Singapore has convened a Haze Task Force, comprising 28 government agencies and led by NEA, to manage the impact of the haze on the public.

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