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 and portable air cleaners for households.
NEA releases 3-hr PSI readings during haze periods via its myEnv iPhone app, Twitter account and website.
"It was a good meeting, we were very frank with each other and that's always helpful.
And we've reviewed the progress and if you look at the situation from 2006 to now, five years later, there's actually been significant progress in the number of hotspots - at about 29,000 before, it's now down to about 17,000."
Dr Vivian Balakrishnan made these comments in Septemper 2011, after attending an annual meeting of the ASEAN's steering committee on trans-boundary haze pollution.
Keeping our air clean by reducing emissions from industries and vehicles.