New Zealand Embassy Jakarta, Indonesia

Smoke Haze

Smoke haze from fires in Sumatra (Indonesia) is currently causing very high pollution readings in Singapore, parts of Malaysia, and Sumatra itself. The haze is generally worse between June and October depending on the number of fires lit, wind direction and climatic conditions.

In late June 2013 the pollution readings reached levels considered hazardous in some areas (including Singapore, Johor and Malacca). Singapore's National Environment Agency (NEA) considers readings above 100 PSI to be unhealthy and above 300 PSI to be hazardous. The NEA has advised children, the elderly, and persons with heart or lung conditions to stay indoors and keep activity levels low. The authorities advise the general population to avoid unnecessary outdoor activity on days when readings exceed 300 PSI.

Those already in or travelling to the region may wish to monitor the haze situation and any health warnings issued by the relevant government, and to seek medical advice. Some of the most common health effects include irritation of your eyes, throat and lungs. For people with existing respiratory conditions, such as asthma or bronchitis, breathing in particle pollution can make the conditions worse. Particles can also reduce your capacity to resist infection. Regularly updated information on haze-related pollution levels is available at Singapore’s National Environment Agency and Malaysia’s Department of Environment.

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