Haze not only gives our island a blurry facade, it could cause serious health effects over time.
You could sneeze or cough more often and your eyes might be irritated. The elderly, children and individuals with existing heart or lung disease are most sensitive to the effects of haze. Haze can lead to impairment of respiratory functions and aggravation of existing respiratory and cardiovascular disease.
Practising open burning to clear land for agricultural uses is common in certain areas in the region. The vastness of the land makes it difficult for local authorities to police this practice.
A combination of dry season, wind direction, cloud formation and poor precipitation formation creates haze. Thus haze could potentially occur in any time of the year.
Prevailing winds sometimes carry smoke haze produced by the forest fires over to our skies, casting a smoky pall, particularly during the Southwest Monsoon Season.
Singapore works closely with ASEAN to manage the haze issue. Some of our efforts include sharing satellite pictures of hotspots and sending our men to help fight fires.
We have in place a set of measures and procedures to activate in the event of serious haze levels.
NEA has compiled a list of air cleaning devices for buildings with central air-conditioning system.
The 24-hr PSI readings by the 5 regions of Singapore are made available on the myEnv iPhone and Android app, Twitter account and website.
In 2013, the ASEAN Leaders welcomed the adoption of the recommendation for an ASEAN Sub-Regional Haze Monitoring System to assist in the monitoring of hotspots and internal enforcement actions against irresponsible parties contributing to land and forest fires. MEWR has introduced a Transboundary Haze Pollution Bill, which holds entities accountable for causing or contributing transboundary haze in Singapore. The Bill, passed in Parliament in August 2014, is the first of its kind in the region to provide for criminal and civil liability for conduct of entities which causes or contributes to haze pollution in Singapore.
An International Advisory Panel on Transboundary Pollution (IAP) has also been appointed to study and advise the Government on the trends and developments in international laws related to transboundary pollution. The IAP will subsequently provide recommendations on solutions and practical steps Singapore can adopt.
MEWR will also be renewing bilateral cooperation with Jambi province on haze prevention and mitigation.
Keeping our air clean by reducing emissions from industries and vehicles.