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Haze and Health Effects

It’s always been in the news that haze has a bad impact to our health.

Well, an ounce of prevention is always much better than an ounce of cure. The more we safeguard ourselves from the bad effects of haze to our health is the more we will be protected and secured of our health status.

The health impact of the haze is dependent on three factors: one’s health status, the Pollutant Standard Index or PSI Level (key air pollutants), and the length and intensity of outdoor activity. According to Health Promotion Board, haze can harm the healthy and unhealthy individuals. In fact, continuous exposure to it can aggravate the existing heart and lung disease. Since, the haze has the key air pollutants which include particulate matter (PM10), Sulphur dioxide (SO2), ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and carbon monoxide (CO). These key air pollutants can cause irritation of the eyes, nose and throat among healthy individuals.

Health Promotion Board has also clarified the group of people which are more sensitive to haze. These are children under age 14(whose lungs are still developing), elderly, and people with chronic lung disease, heart disease. It is also advised that these groups should consult their doctors for preventive measure. Additionally, pregnant women are also warned to reduce their haze exposure for the health of their unborn babies.

Spare The Air has reported that the high air pollution levels can cause immediate health problems. It can aggravate cardiovascular and respiratory illness. It can also add stress to heart and lungs, which must work harder to supply the body with oxygen. Then, it can damage cells in the respiratory system. Moreover, it can lead to the development of diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, possibly cancer. Furthermore, it can shorten life span and there are plenty to mentions the bad effects of haze to our health.

The Ministry of Health gives public advisory about haze. They advise the public to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, to use facemask during outdoor activity, and individuals with existing chronic heart and lungs condition should ensure their medications are accessible since the PSI levels have risen above normal and hazy condition. This is a cause for concerns not a reason to panic. Every individual should be responsible for their health condition.

Sources:

http://www.moh.gov.sg/haze
www.sparetheair.com/health.cfm

Image Source:
http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/offer-to-help-indonesia-fight-haze-still-stands

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