No health concerns over haze

No health concerns over haze

20 October 2010

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Singapore —  With Singapore seeing a second day bathed in a haze, concerns are being raised over just how healthy it is to bear up with the PSI (Pollution Standards Index) hovering in the 80s range.

A check with some of the polyclinics has however revealed that the number of respiratory-related cases being handled, is as per normal during the October into November period with patients reporting the seasonal flu, rather than haze-related ailments.

Members of the public should not worry they added, unless there’s an alert that the air quality has crossed into the unhealthy range where the PSI is over the 100 range.

However, elderly care centres and nursing homes like the Ju Eng Home for Senior Citizens and the Jamiyah Nursing Home are making an effort to take extra care of their charges even though they remain unaffected by the haze.

Mr Harwan Sing, administrator for the Jamiyah Nursing Home said, “We try to keep our patients indoor as much as possible and we keep a closer eye on those with respiratory problems.”

“So far, our patients are unaffected, but if we do (notice), we will either bring them to our doctors to see what is wrong with them, or if the case is serious, we will send them to the hospital,” said Ms Helen Lee, spokesperson for the Ju Eng Home for Senior Citizens.

Currently, the PSI is in the moderate range, with most upset over the poor visibility and only some members of the public reporting of the smell of smoke in the air and stinging eyes.

According to the National Environment Agency’s website, PSI in the moderate range affects the general health of few or none for the general population.

Only when the PSI level exceeds 150 which is in the ‘Unhealthy’ range, people with existing heart or respiratory ailments or those who are more susceptible to smoke haze will be advised to take precautions.

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