KUALA LUMPUR, March 9 (Bernama) — These days, nobody can claim the air that surrounds them is really clean. Even the country’s highlands and hill resorts occassionally experience bad days when they get enveloped by haze caused by “hot spots” elsewhere.
Last year’s haze episodes over the Klang Valley and other parts of the country aptly proved the point as those living or holidaying in Cameron Highlands, where the air is normally fresher, were choked by smog that drifted over the Melaka Straits due to forest fires in a neighbouring nation.
When the problem reached its peak sometime around July last year, resulting in the Health Minister Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek advising the public to stay indoors, those without air-conditioned rooms were almost dumbfounded.
However they should not despair as there are ways to overcome this scenario should the haze come “knocking the doors of Malaysians” again.
According to Raziff M Razalli, a representative of Sathelyne International Group which promotes environmental products, there are solutions that had been made conveniently available for effective public use.
He said the products can protect users not only from the haze but also from dew and all other airborne illnesses or viruses that can affect people.
“The surrounding air is something beyond our control,” he said.
He said while the government is trying its very best to overcome the situation, it has yet to develop a system that could effectively counter the situation.
Raziff said by combining western diffusion technology with eastern herbal oils, the bad air could be purified thus killing viruses and other pollutants.
“It is the use of a special lamp which works like a burner. Once lighted for about two minutes the temperature will rise between 60 and 300 degree Celcius. The high temperature is important as it enables the essential oils to be diffused completely into the environment,” he said.
Raziff, who later conducted a simple demonstration to prove the lamp’s effectiveness, said the essential oils had been mixed with a little alcohol to release some aroma besides purifying the air.
For the demonstration, cigarette smoke (as it closely represents the dense air that people normally have in a room) was trapped in a clear drinking glass, which was then placed on top of the lamp. Within seconds, vapour develops inside the glass and the smoke cleared.
REMOVE SMOKE AND SMELL
“What the lamp actually does is that the essential oil traps and removes not only the smoke but the smell as well. And because it is essential oil it also provides natural therapy. So the air that you breathe in is certainly healthy,” said Raziff.
He said as far as safety is concerned, the product has been tested by various organisations as well as laboratories.
“Here in Malaysia, the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) has checked the alcohol content, and has certified that the product as does not content alcohol in the sense of “haram”,” he said.
Raziff said he came to know about the purifyer as his son was suffering from asthma and had to use stabiliser quite frequently.
“My son had to use the inhaler three times a day, usually in the morning when the attack occurred. After using this product for ten days, my son was able to stop the treatment,” he said.
Raziff said after four months, his son was completely off the inhaler until now. The boy is now nine years old. He was five when Raziff started to use the lamp at his home.
UNHEALTHY INDOOR AIR
Raziff also said that since people generally spent 85 percent of their time indoor –in bedroom, living room, office and car, they should be more concerned about the air that they breathe.
“Indoor air is two to five times more polluted that outside air. Outdoor air once it goes indoor will stay in it (trapped). On top of that, the chemical people use in the house, such as washing liquid and perfume spray, is also causing allergic reactions.
“Have you ever noticed that if you stay indoor for longer hours you tend to get headache or flu? What has been understood is that indoor air pollution is one of the main causes for common illnesses like flu, asthma, sinus, and eye, nose, or throat infection,” he said.
Raziff said that during last year’s occurance of haze, he could carry out his duties as usual as he had carried with him one portable lamp or purifyer to help him inhale clean air.
“The essential oil acts as a protective cover if you are exposed to harzardous environment,” he said.
He said the essential oils may not be the cure for diseases but help to bring relief to infections and inflamations, believed to be the root to many illnesses.
Raziff said that the air purifier lamps that he promotes were introduced in Malaysia in 1998.
“The lamps are priced up to RM1,000 depending on the design and size. The nicer-looking ones are more expensive because of the artistic value,” he added.