Public used to the haze

Public used to the haze

14 July 2011

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Malaysia — The public have become accustomed to putting up with haze almost every year since the 1990s.

Some have even taken precautionary measures such as using surgical-type masks. There are even those who seem unfazed by the weather phenomenon until it worsens.

“Almost every year we encounter the haze caused by too much open fire burnings in Indonesia. We have grown used to it,” said Mohd Zulkarnain Yunos (pic), 51.

“However, it is disappointing in that our pleas to the Indonesian government to put a stop to the burnings has not been heeded.”

Zulkarnain felt the government should take pro-active measures such as supplying free masks to children and the elderly.

“Just the other day, one of my children complained of shortness of breath due to the haze. This situation is difficult for those with respiratory problems,” he said.

Francis Rojers, a 71-year-old retiree at Paramount Garden in PJ, said none of his family members were affected by the current haze.

“We are continuing with our daily activities as usual but will start wearing masks should the situation worsen,” said Rojers who keeps himself fit by exercising.

His friend, 54-year-old Joseph Pragasam from Section 4, PJ said the haze has not adversely hit his area yet.

“I do not pay much attention to the haze, but my family and I will start wearing masks if necessary,” said Pragasam who works in a security company.

But for 44-year-old housewife Saleha Ismail who resides with her family in Puchong, she’s already prepared for the worst.

”I’m asthmatic and there was one year when I was affected by the haze. Since then I have been taking precautions,” she said.

“My two young children seem immune to the haze but if the situation gets worse, I will get them to wear masks.”

Businessman Mohd Jefferey Hussin, 39, said: “I just arrived home from Kuantan and was not aware of the haze before. But now I can sense it coming and will not leave home without a mask.”

Student, Ezuddin Zahari, 21, said: “I felt the burning smell quite strongly over the past couple of days, and will wear a mask when it worsens but will continue my daily activities regardless.”
Pharmacies anticipate mask sale hike

PHARMACIES expect a boom in sales of surgical-type masks for the duration of the current haze.

“Normally those who buy masks are for medical reasons but sales go up whenever the haze starts,” said Lee, a pharmacist at Vitacare at Amcorp Mall at Jalan Persiaran Barat in PJ.

“As in previous years, we expect a huge demand for masks when the current haze worsens.”

Another pharmacist at Guardian Pharmacy in KL Sentral said: ”The haze has not yet become unbearable so sales of masks has not increased yet, but we are ready to accommodate customers when the demand goes up.”

Other pharmacies in the Klang Valley also said they expected a boom in masks sales when the haze worsens.
Health pointers for the coming smoggy days
Haze in Kuala Lumpur

ASTHMA patients should take extra precaution during the haze, says pharmacists.

“Prevention is better than cure so stay indoors for as much as possible and drink more water than what you normally do,” said pharmacist, Kenny Ong.

“When outdoor, wear a surgical-type mask. And for those with asthma and lung infections, follow doctor’s orders on medications to avoid asthmatic attacks.”

Ong said those affected by the haze should not hesitate visiting a doctor for diagnosis and medication.

“Don’t wait until your condition gets worse,” he said.

A doctor at the Petaling Jaya branch of the Mediviron Group Of Clinics advised the young and elderly not to expose themselves to outdoor activities during the haze.

“There has been an increase in number of patients with problems such as watery eyes and running noses. This happens whenever there’s a haze,” he said.

“Those suffering from asthma should take anti-allergy medication and bring the medicine along with them when outdoors.”

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