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Smoke haze in Singapore. 14 tips on how to survive haze / severe air pollution. Her dream home needs to meet 6 criteria

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In summer 2013,
air pollution from forest fires in Indonesia’s Sumatra island has choked Singapore.
To make the condition worse, El Niño which tends to produce very dry weather conditions in the region, appears to intensify the effects of the fires in Indonesia.

PSI = Pollutant Standards Index.
PM 2.5 = A reading for airborne particles with a diameter of 2.5 microns or less – small enough to deeply penetrate the lungs.

PSI Value & Air Quality Descriptor according to NEA:
0 – 50 : Good
51 – 100 : Moderate
101 – 200 : Unhealthy
201 – 300 : Very unhealthy
Above 300 : Hazardous

On 20 Jun 2013 1 PM, the 3-hour PSI Reading was 371 in Singapore.

A friend of mine mentioned that the city looks apocalyptic.

In Beijing in January 2013, the PSI reached the range of 470-490.
Lung cancers are soaring in Beijing.
A friend who works in China shared that many people, if they can afford it, want to get out of China, due to the environmental hazard : pollution.

The U.S. AQI only goes up to 500.

The 19th century London was notoriously known as the foggy city.
The hazy / bleak / fog everywhere London was too distant for me to recall of London.
In my lifetime (the 21st century), my memory of London has been positive (but I do not live there long enough).

Here are tips on how to survive living with haze:

1. Spend less time outdoors.

2. If you have to go out, wear N95 mask, wear hat / carry umbrella, carry a bottle of water.
When you feel a tingle in the throat or start coughing, a drink of water can be helpful.

3. Before you go out, close all your windows and ventilation outlets.

4. Wash your face, rinse your mouth, and clean your nasal cavity, shower when getting indoors.
Blow your nose in a piece of tissue, you will see black particles in it.

5. Children & older adults should remain indoors and keep activity levels low.

6. Close your windows when the condition is severe.

7. If you use air-conditioner, make sure your apartment has enough oxygen.

8. Keep plants with broad leaves at home to absorb dusts. Place a wet mat beneath your doors.

9. Use air purifiers with HEPA filter.

10. Smoke less. Avoid smokers.

11. Eat more fruits, vegetables. If necessary, take vitamin C.

12. Drink more water, milk (especially if you suffer from dry throat). Stay hydrated. Drink at least 2 litres of water a day.

13. Avoid / minimize alcohol / coffee.

14. Go somewhere unaffected for holiday. My husband’s friend D has brought his family for a holiday in Bali.

15. If the haze / air pollution is a constant problem, consider migrating.
A friend who was born in Indonesia,
S shared with me about the criteria for her dream home which I found interesting.
S wants to move to places like New Zealand, Australia, or Canada,
where the air quality (and presumably the living conditions are better).
She told me that once when she was in Toa Payoh, a Hong Kong expatriate shared that Hong Kong people who migrated to US / Canada are relatively richer than those who migrated to Australia / NZ due to higher fund required for the former.

Here are S’ criteria for her desired home:

1. 2nd floor and above, but not too high floor (she was concerned about earthquake & window safety for her children).

2. Why not ground floor?
Bungalows often consist of only ground floor (if not 2-storey high).
S shared with me her experience living in a ground floor house where she suffered annually from the flood (and the risk of electricity through water).

3. Her home must have a bomb shelter, based on her experience living in Singapore, where flats have a bomb shelter that also serves as a store room. An alternative is to have multi-storey with an underground / basement.

4. Entire flat must be well-equipped with air-conditioner, although she mentioned that she would not switch them on daily, as she is aware of the consequences of air-conditioner on our protective ozone layer. The air-conditioner fixtures are meant to survive for severe haze episodes.

5. To have fridge & freezer in her room (so that she can have access to her food).
Perhaps, a well equipped studio apartment (not too spacious) will be easier for her to manage.

6. Yes, but S also wants to rent her rooms for additional income, so she needs a spacious home, unless it is hard to get tenants.

Related:
http://donghuan.wordpress.com/2012/02/25/my-first-day-back-in-china-and-tips-on-how-to-survive-beijings-dirty-air/
http://spotlightxoxo.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/skin-care-tips-during-the-haze/

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Written by blueroselady

June 20, 2013 at 9:47 am

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