What is Haze and how to protect ourselves from it

Welcome to this interesting blog where I share a lot of things on random topics. In this article, I’m going to share all the important details about the hazardous effects of haze on our health and how we can protect ourselves from it. Make sure to read till the end for better understanding.

Haze is an accumulation of extremely small, widely scattered particles, in the air giving the air an opaline display. Particles of dust and smoke comprise the haze. Due to the relatively small size of these particles, they can enter the deep recesses of the lungs and into the bloodstream. This in return affects our health, especially those who are at higher risk such as those with asthma, chronic lung disease, chronic heart disease, and stroke. The aged, children and pregnant women are also vulnerable.

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The severity of Haze is measured by the PSI. PSI stands for “Pollution Standards Index” developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA). It is determined by the level of air pollutants. Different PSI indicates different types of air quality. Air pollution is mainly caused by carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, ozone, and particles of 10 microns or smaller in size (PM 10). The highest health risks posed by PM2.5 or particulate matters of 2.5 microns or smaller. Because of the small size, they are able to enter the air sacs and into the bloodstream, causing adverse health effects. 

The general recommendation is for people to minimize outdoor activities when the PSI is an unhealthy level of 200 and above. For those who are at greater risk, the advice is to minimize outdoor activities when a PSI goes above 101. Should they go outdoors, they should put on a respiratory mask for haze

The N95 masks are quite efficient for blocking the air particles from entering our respiratory system. The n95 masks can be reused so long as it is not soiled or distorted. Store this mask in a zip lock bag to avoid contamination and reuse when needed. Masks should be changed out when they are heavily soiled or become moist. And do note strictly, no sharing of mask.  Respiratory masks like the P100 and N99 are also proven to be a very effective mask for haze. These masks can even stop bacteria and other microbes from entering our bodies.

So stay healthy with a regular dose of exercise, adequate sleep and hydration, and don’t forget to have your annual flu shots updated. For those with chronic illnesses, remember to take your medications.

I hope you found this post useful and informative. In case you have any queries or suggestions related to this post, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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