The Haze in KL is EVERYDAY
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While we are used to the haze as a yearly occurrence at hazardous levels (over 100 on the Air Quality Index - AQI) lasting usually a month, I've noticed that the haze has become a daily occurrence but at moderate levels (between 70-95). Don't let the word 'moderate' fool you. What is more important to notice is the PM2.5 levels.
PM2.5 refers to atmospheric particulate matter (PM) that have a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers.
Owing to their minute size, particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers are able to bypass the nose and throat and penetrate deep into the lungs and some may even enter the circulatory system.
Studies have found a close link between exposure to fine particles and premature death from heart and lung disease. Fine particles are also known to trigger or worsen chronic disease such as asthma, heart attack, bronchitis and other respiratory problems.
The American Heart Association has also warned about the impact of PM2.5 on heart health and mortality:
“Exposure to PM <2.5 μm in diameter (PM2.5) over a few hours to weeks can trigger cardiovascular disease-related mortality and nonfatal events; longer-term exposure (eg, a few years) increases the risk for cardiovascular mortality to an even greater extent than exposures over a few days and reduces life expectancy within more highly exposed segments of the population by several months to a few years.”
We have been exposed to high levels of PM2.5 for at least a year, caused by palm Oil plantation burning not just in Indonesia but in Malaysia as well. Yes, Malaysia. I have been comparing the air quality in SG on a daily basis using Breezometer, an independent international Air Quality tracking technology and as you will be able to see for yourself, the air quality in SG is significantly better than in KL most of the year.
While the Malaysian AQI tracker reports delayed air quality levels calculated as a 24 hour average from the nearest monitoring stations (there are only 2 in KL), BreezoMeter employs big data & machine learning gathered from thousands of sources including satellite, weather and traffic reports to deliver accurate hyperlocal information in real time updated every hour.
Please do check the AQI on Breezometer to know not just about air quality levels, but the content of the air especially PM2.5. The site also gives advice if it's safe to be outdoors for children, elderly and those with respiratory, heart and lung dieseses.
You can read more about PM2.5 at https://blissair.com/what-is-pm-2-5.htm/amp
Other than tracking the Air Quality Index on sites like breezometer.com/air-quality-map/ you can see the the pollution in the air by looking up at tall buildings and into the distance. You will notice a white blanket of smoke almost everyday except for Sundays when the burning stops over the weekend.
If you have been experiencing unexplainable headaches, scratchy throat, burning eyes and difficulty breathing at times, this could be the reason.
If you feel you, your children, your parents and family members deserve to breathe clean air and live a healthy life in Malaysia, please join me in signing this petition to stop the burning.
A hand full of rich Palm Oil companies have decided that our lives are not as important as their profits. What do you think?
According to statistics from the Ministry of Health, disease of the respiratory system is very often number one or 2 of the top 10 causes of hospitalization and death in private and public hospitals in the country...
Please share this information if you feel it would benefit the people you care about so that they too can be more informed about the quality of the air they breathe everyday, how it affects them and their loved ones.
Please also help us stop the cause - open burning - by signing this petition and sharing it with your family, friends and communities on social media. With your support we can all breathe clean air again and live healthy lives enjoying outdoor activities.
This petition has been shared with YB Dr. Haji Dzulkefly Ahmad, Malaysia's Minister of Health in hopes that he will be our champion to ensure that the Ministry of Environment takes action against companies and individuals who are causing the haze.
When I called the Ministry of Environment today (4 June 2018) to report the haze, they were surprised as their readings showed an AQI level of 32 while the city was enveloped in a thick white smog recording AQI levels of 94 on Breezometer.
The actions we hope the Minister of Health will take:
- Compare the readings from Ministry of Environment to international websites like Breezometer.
- Verify the accuracy of the air pollution readings in Malaysia by calling an open tender to determine the best technology that produces the most accurate readings of Air Quality, PM2.5 and other relevant measures.
- Daily aerial monitoring of palm oil plantations and other agricultural farms using heat mapping technology to indentify where the burning is taking place and the owners responsible.
- Take legal action against companies and individuals caught for open burning.
- Impose a carbon emission tax on companies that produce/exceed carbon emission limit.
Thank you so much for your support and for sharing.
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