Haze forecast and health advisory for the weekend

SINGAPORE - Hazy conditions continued to affect Singapore today. Air quality here is expected to fluctuate at the high end of the "Moderate" band, and may even occasionally reach unhealthy levels if winds blow more haze from the hotspots in Johor, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said.

The three-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) stood at 82 as of 7pm today.

The 24-hour PSI reading ranged from 51 to 66, with the highest PSI readings in the North and South.  The PSI reading of PM2.5 concentration, or very fine particulate matter, was between 36 and 55 micrograms per cubic metre.

A PSI reading of zero to 50 indicates good air quality, while anything above 100 indicates unhealthy air quality.

NEA said that the haze can be attributed to hotspots in southern Johor, blown in by the prevailing northeasterly winds.

There were 59 hotspots detected in Peninsular Malaysia yesterday, and 35 hotspots in Sumatra. Smoke plumes and haze were visible from some of these hotspots.

Parts of Peninsular Malaysia have been experiencing air quality in the "Unhealthy" to "Hazardous" range today.

As of 4pm this afternoon, the air quality in Port Klang in Selangor was in the "Hazardous" range, NEA noted.

The weather in Singapore is expected to be warm with hazy conditions, and brief and localised showers are expected in the late afternoon over the northern and western parts of Singapore.

"We expect air quality levels in Singapore to fluctuate over the next 24 hours. 24-h PM2.5 concentrations may reach unhealthy levels during some parts of the day, although the situation is expected to gradually improve overnight," NEA said.

The agency added that it will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as necessary.

As a precaution, those with chronic lung or heart conditions are advised to avoid prolonged or strenuous outdoor physical exertion. If the haze situation deteriorates, the general public may need to reduce prolonged or strenuous outdoor physical exertion, NEA said.

 

Note: The health impact of haze is dependent on one’s health status (e.g. whether one has pre-existing chronic heart or lung disease), 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. Persons who are not feeling well, especially the elderly, and children, and those with chronic heart or lung conditions, should seek early medical attention.

 Healthy persons

Elderly, pregnant women, children

Persons with chronic lung disease, heart disease

Reduce prolonged or strenuous outdoor physical exertion
Minimise prolonged
or strenuous outdoor physical exertion
Avoid prolonged or strenuous outdoor physical exertion
 
Prolonged = continuous exposure for several hours   
Strenuous = involving a lot of energy or effort
Reduce = do less
Minimise = do as little as possible
Avoid = do not do

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