As of 3:00pm, the Air Pollutant Index (API) in Minden was at a very unhealthy level at 223 while Balik Pulau recorded an even higher API at 263.
A total of 162 schools on Penang island have been ordered to close today after the air pollutant index (API) breached 200 this morning, Free Malaysia Today reported.
The photo was taken at 3:30 pm at George Town, Penang.
Ways To Protect Yourself From The Harmful Haze 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.
An API reading of 0-50 indicates good air quality, 51-100 moderate, 101-200 unhealthy, 201-300 very unhealthy and over 300, hazardous.
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. Make sure your air conditioner is in good condition
During this haze season, it is important to clean your air conditioner’s filter as well as service it. Fine particles can enter your house or any other buildings through any gaps and openings causing the filter of your air conditioner to be contaminated.
6. Take your medications
Don’t forget to take your medications if you’re suffering from any existing diseases especially respiratory or heart disease during this haze season. Whenever you’re feeling breathless, seek immediate medical attention.
7. 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.
8. Limit or avoid smoking indoors or the usage of anything that emits smoke
9. 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.