Air pollution

As the Formula One racing circus visits Singapore for its latest race, air pollution and the haze created has been brought into sharper focus than for a long time. There are reports of the haze closing schools in Malaysia and fears for the visibility and wellbeing of the F1 teams and their drivers in Singapore. Suddenly, something that is a constant for those who live in the region becomes big news.

But what is Haze?

The definition is that it is an atmospheric phenomenon where suspension of extremely small dry particles in the air obscure the clarity of the sky.

Its components can be gases such as ozone, sulphur dioxide, nitrous oxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide. Particulate matter also in the air includes benzene sulphate, organic carbon, microbial components and pollen.

These particles can penetrate respiratory and circulatory systems and can cause damage to the health of an individual exposed to it for any length of time, or on a regular basis,

Haze and your health.

Air pollution can affect your health in all sorts of different ways from eye irritation and redness, headaches and dizziness, runny nose, sneezing as well as nasal congestion.

But it’s not just the head that is affected. By breathing in particulate matter, this can cause problems in the throat with irritation, dryness and soreness causing coughing.

Extreme cases can create chest discomfort and respiratory tract infection. Asthma attacks are often prevalent and even something as natural as drinking water can be an issue if the drinking water is contaminated by dense haze. This can lead to stomach upset and vomiting. The skin can also be irritated by constant exposure to Haze.

So what precautions can be taken to prevent all these outcomes?

Top of the list is wearing appropriate dust masks when going outdoors. Those of us who don’t live in such badly affected areas will have seen the sort of protection worn by people appearing on news items about air-pollution.

The advice is always to consult a doctor if there is any difficulty in breathing, coughing, chest pain and any of the symptoms detailed above.

Spend less time outdoors.

Sadly, at a time when we are encouraging our children to spend less time on their iPads and more time outdoors, the advice in areas of high air pollution is to reduce outdoor activities such as jogging and cycling amongst others.

Drink plenty of water as long as it does not fall into the contaminated category.

Wash your hands and face on a regular basis and especially after outdoor activities and finally, please make sure that if you are prescribed medicines by your doctor that you take them on a regular basis especially if you have an underlying respiratory or cardiovascular dilute disease.

We will be revisiting the subject of air pollution in future blogs but in the meantime stay safe.

Mayfair, we care.