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  • Haze hits unhealthy levels across Singapore on Wednesday
    Date:2019-09-18 

    Haze hits unhealthy levels across Singapore on Wednesday                    

    SINGAPORE: Air quality in Singapore continued to worsen on Wednesday (Sep 18) morning as the haze hit unhealthy levels across the island.


    As of 9am, the 24-hour Pollutant Standard Index (PSI) readings were:

    • 107 in the north
    • 111 in the east
    • 120 in the south
    • 111 in the west
    • 105 in the central region

    The PSI readings first entered the unhealthy range in the west and south of the island on Tuesday afternoon, after a day of clearer skies on Monday.

    According to the National Environment Agency (NEA), PSI readings of 50 and below denote “good” air quality, “moderate” for 51-100 and “unhealthy” for 101-200.  


    The one-hour PM2.5 reading was 88-111µg/m3 at 9am, in the elevated band. The eastern region had the highest levels of 111µg/m3.  ​​​​​​​PM2.5 is a measure of tiny particles less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter in the air. When the PM2.5 reading is in the elevated range, haze particles can affect the heart and lungs, especially in people who have chronic heart or lung conditions.  According to NEA, one-hour PM2.5 readings are a "good indicator of current air quality", and can be used for those deciding whether to go for immediate outdoor activities, such as a jog.


    On Tuesday afternoon, the environment agency said the 24-hour PSI readings may enter the mid-section of the unhealthy range if denser haze from Sumatra is blown in.   "Given the air quality forecast for the next 24 hours, healthy persons should reduce prolonged or strenuous outdoor physical exertion," said NEA.

    "The elderly, pregnant women and children should minimise prolonged or strenuous outdoor physical exertion, while those with chronic lung or heart disease should avoid prolonged or strenuous outdoor physical exertion."


    A total of 109 hotspots were detected in Sumatra on Tuesday, down from 233 on Monday, but this was due to a "partial satellite pass". This is when a satellite's field of view covers only part of a region of interest as the satellite orbits the earth.  There is still moderate to dense smoke haze in Indonesia's central and southern provinces of Riau, Jambi, South Sumatra and Lampung, said NEA.


    The Singapore Government said it has put in place "robust action plans" to minimise and manage the impact of haze on the public.   These include making sure that there are enough N95 masks, and for hospitals to be ready for any increase in haze-related cases.


    Source: CNA/jt(cy)


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