Haze: Brisk sales of face masks in Muar

PHOTO: AFP

MUAR - The worsening haze has led to face masks being snapped up by residents here.

Pharmaceutical assistant Pauline Lee, 32, who works at a store near Jalan Ali, said sales of face masks had been brisk with boxes being bought in the past fortnight.

"Residents here are more cautious because the town has always been among the worst hit in the country. For now, most customers prefer surgical face masks but I am sure that the N95 mask, which provides better protection, will see better sales if the situation deteriorates," she said here yesterday.

Despite the smog blanketing parts of the town, most people went about their business without a face mask. One of the few people seen sporting a face mask was a clerk, who only wanted to be known as Hoon Boo.

The 53-year-old said she only started wearing the mask yesterday.

"I decided to put on the mask as I have been coughing and don't feel well due to the haze," she said, adding that she also avoided going outdoors.

Factory operator Mohd Firdaus Yusof, 19, said he was not wearing a mask just yet because the haze was still average.

"Most of us here have seen worse days in the past. There was once the API (Air Pollutant Index) hit critical level here and I couldn't see the road properly. I consider this still bearable," he said.

Nurse B. Saraswathy, 23, said she was trying to stay indoors.

"I will only wear a face mask when I absolutely have to," she said, adding that she had also been drinking more water to stay hydra­ted.

Meanwhile, heavy rain in Penang island and the mainland resulted in moderate clear skies.

A Department of Environment spokesman said the API readings on the island was 85 as at 4pm, 71 in Prai and 81 in Seberang Jaya.

However, the haze was still visible from the Esplanade, Universiti Sains Malaysia and the Penang Bridge yesterday.

SERVICES