Singapore Haze PSI: Current Levels and Health Impacts

Are you aware of the haze situation in Singapore? Haze is a recurring problem in Singapore, especially during the dry season when forest fires occur in neighbouring countries. The haze is caused by the smoke and pollutants from these fires, which can affect the air quality in Singapore and cause health problems for its residents.

The Singapore skyline is shrouded in a thick haze, with the PSI levels reaching dangerous levels. Buildings are barely visible, and the air is heavy with pollution

One way to measure the air quality in Singapore is through the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI). The PSI is a scale ranging from 0 to 500, with higher values indicating worse air quality. When the PSI reaches unhealthy levels, it is advised that people with heart or lung diseases, children, and the elderly should stay indoors and avoid strenuous activities.

In this article, we will take a closer look at the haze situation in Singapore, how it is measured, and what measures are taken to mitigate its impact. We will also answer some frequently asked questions about the haze and the PSI. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of the haze situation in Singapore and how it affects you.

Key Takeaways

  • The haze is caused by forest fires in neighbouring countries, and it can affect the air quality in Singapore.
  • The Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) is used to measure the air quality in Singapore, and higher values indicate worse air quality.
  • When the PSI reaches unhealthy levels, people with heart or lung diseases, children, and the elderly should stay indoors and avoid strenuous activities.

Understanding the Haze in Singapore

The skyline of Singapore is shrouded in a thick haze, with buildings and landmarks barely visible through the smoky air

If you live in Singapore, you are no stranger to the haze. The haze is a recurring environmental issue that affects the air quality in Singapore and its neighbouring countries. In this section, we will explore the causes of haze, its health implications, and how the National Environment Agency (NEA) measures the haze using the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) and PM2.5 readings.

Causes of Haze

The haze is caused by the burning of forests and peatlands in neighbouring countries, particularly Indonesia. The burning is often done to clear land for agriculture, such as palm oil plantations. The smoke and ash from these fires are carried by the wind to Singapore, causing a drop in air quality.

Health Implications

Breathing in the haze can have negative health effects, particularly for those with pre-existing heart and lung conditions. Elevated levels of PM2.5 in the air can cause irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, as well as exacerbate chronic heart and lung conditions. Healthcare institutions often see an increase in patients with respiratory problems during periods of unhealthy air quality.

PSI and PM2.5 Readings

The NEA measures the haze using the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) and PM2.5 readings. The 24-hour PSI takes into account six air pollutants, including PM2.5, PM10, ozone, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and carbon monoxide. The PSI ranges from 0 to 500, with a higher number indicating a higher level of air pollution. A PSI reading of 101-200 is considered unhealthy, while a reading above 300 is considered hazardous.

PM2.5 refers to tiny air particles that are up to 2.5 micrometres in size. These particles can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause respiratory problems. The NEA provides hourly PM2.5 readings, which are a more accurate indicator of current air quality than the 24-hour PSI.

In conclusion, understanding the haze and its effects is important for protecting your health. Stay informed by checking the NEA’s website for the latest PSI and PM2.5 readings, and take precautions such as wearing a mask and avoiding outdoor activities during periods of unhealthy air quality.

Mitigation and Response

A city skyline shrouded in thick haze, with buildings barely visible and the air quality index (PSI) prominently displayed

Government and Public Response

The National Environment Agency (NEA) and the Haze Task Force are responsible for monitoring and managing the haze situation in Singapore. During periods of high haze levels, the NEA issues daily haze advisories and haze advisories for schools and workplaces. These advisories provide information on the current haze situation, PM2.5 concentration readings, and recommended precautions.

The NEA also operates the Haze.gov.sg website, which provides real-time information and resources on the haze situation in Singapore. The website includes a map of the current PSI readings across the island, as well as satellite imagery, wind direction, and hot spot information.

Preventive Measures

To mitigate the impact of haze, there are several preventive measures that you can take. If you are in a vulnerable group, such as children, the elderly, or those with respiratory conditions, it is recommended that you stay indoors as much as possible and avoid outdoor activities.

If you need to be outdoors, it is important to wear a suitable mask or respirator to protect yourself from the harmful effects of the haze. You can also use an air purifier to improve the air quality in your home or office.

Real-Time Information and Resources

To stay informed about the current haze situation, you can visit the Haze.gov.sg website or download the myENV app, which provides real-time updates on the PSI readings and air quality in your area.

You can also sign up for media releases from the NEA to receive the latest updates on the haze situation and any measures being taken to mitigate its impact.

In summary, by staying informed and taking appropriate precautions, you can help to mitigate the impact of haze on your health and wellbeing.

Frequently Asked Questions

A thick haze blankets the city skyline, obscuring buildings and casting a dull, orange glow. The air quality index (PSI) hovers at hazardous levels

How is the air quality measured in Singapore?

The air quality in Singapore is measured by the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI). The PSI is calculated based on the concentration levels of six pollutants, including particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10), sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and ozone. The PSI readings range from 0 to 500, with higher values indicating poorer air quality.

What causes the haze in Singapore?

The haze in Singapore is mainly caused by forest fires in neighbouring countries, particularly Indonesia. The fires are usually started by farmers and plantation owners to clear land for cultivation. The smoke and pollutants from these fires are carried by the wind to Singapore, resulting in hazy conditions.

Where can I find the latest updates on Singapore’s haze levels?

You can find the latest updates on Singapore’s haze levels on the National Environment Agency’s (NEA) website or through the NEA’s mobile app. The NEA provides hourly updates on the PSI readings and health advisories during periods of haze.

What health precautions should we take during a haze period?

During a haze period, it is recommended to stay indoors as much as possible and avoid outdoor activities. If you need to be outdoors, wear a N95 mask to protect yourself from the harmful pollutants in the air. It is also important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and to seek medical attention if you experience any respiratory symptoms.

What is considered a dangerous PSI level for haze?

A PSI reading of 101 to 200 is considered unhealthy, while a reading of 201 to 300 is very unhealthy. A PSI reading above 300 is considered hazardous and poses a significant health risk to the public.

How does the haze affect daily life in Singapore?

During periods of haze, the air quality in Singapore can become very poor, resulting in reduced visibility and respiratory problems. Schools and outdoor activities may be cancelled, and people may experience eye irritation, coughing, and shortness of breath. It is important to take precautions and stay informed during a haze period.

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