We’re sure Penangites have already noticed that Penang has been hit by haze since the weekend. And as of this morning on 17th April 2023, the Air Pollution Index (API) for Prai has hit a very unhealthy level at 181. Meanwhile, George Town and Gelugor both recorded similarly unhealthy APIs at 159 and 155 respectively.
Haze In Penang: Unhealthy Air Pollution Index (API) Recorded
TheStar reported that “according to the Asean Specialised Meteorological Centre’s (ASMC) website, no hotspots indicating substantial open burning are happening in Malaysia and only a single hotspot has been detected on Sumatra island,”
“However, satellites have registered hundreds of hotspots spread across millions of hectares in eastern Myanmar and throughout Laos. It is believed that these hotspots are the result of farmers practising traditional slash-and-burn agriculture, which entails large swathes of woodlands being cleared and then burned to enrich the soil with potassium and phosphate while killing pests.
As a precaution, here are some of the things that you can do during the haze season in Penang
1. Check the local air quality updates
Before leaving your house, it is recommended to check the API readings. By checking the API readings, you will know if you have to take the necessary precaution such as wearing a mask or avoid going out. Do keep track of the API readings regularly.
2. Avoid Going Outdoors
If it is not necessary to be outside, avoid going outdoors at all cost. The haze will affect our respiratory system and eyes. It is advised for all children, pregnant women, the elderly, and those suffering from chronic illnesses, especially the heart and respiratory disease to remain indoors if the haze level hits an unhealthy level. Besides that, outdoor sports should be avoided as well.
3. Close all windows, doors and any openings
Remember to close any windows, doors and any other openings that may allow the haze to enter your house. If you have an air conditioner in your house, turn it on as it can be dangerous if your house gets too hot and there is no air circulation. You can even seek shelter at public places that have an air conditioner such as a mall, library or any other places.
4. Use an air purifier
Using an air purifier can help keep the particulate levels low. If you’re getting an air purifier, choose one that is suitable for the size and type of your house. It is advised to avoid getting air cleaners that generate ozone as it may generate more air pollutants. Remember to constantly replace the filter of the air purifier as told in the instructions.
5. Drink more water and eat more fruits
This may seem like the most cliché saying and you’ve probably heard it over a million times in your life but it is the most helpful instructions. Moreover, it is also the cheapest form of prevention from any sickness. There is at least 60% of water in a human body hence it is important to stay hydrated especially during this dry and hazy season.
6. Wear a mask
If the API readings are not too serious, a surgical mask is sufficient but if the API readings get worse it is advised to put on a respirator. A respirator works better and restricts more polluted air from entering the nose and mouth. To pick the right mask or respirator, you can get more information here.
Take Care, Penangites!
If you’re heading out, remember to mask up and at the same time, keep yourselves hydrated!
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