Breathing is not a choice, but breathing clean air especially in this hazy season is.
Often, we take things for granted in our lives, we have expectations of the things around us. In Malaysia we are protected from major natural disasters and blessed with good weather mostly all year round. But there is one season of the year that truly gets on our nerves; the haze season. Happens commonly in the second half of the year, many regions in Malaysia are affected by this phenomenon of unhealthy air. Not only does it affect our visibility, but it also causes many health-related problems. This annual phenomenon is more than just an inconvenience, but is indeed a health threat to us all.
What is Haze?
Haze is basically smog or a thick blanket of smoky air that covers our surroundings making it difficult to breathe, irritating to our eyes and respiratory system, affecting visibility and much more. Malaysia is affected by haze annually from local and foreign doing. Recently the haze has been worse than the years before where public schools have been ordered to close due to unhealthy air levels which is above 200 on the Air Pollutant Index. API above 100 is considered Unhealthy, while API above 200 is considered Very Unhealthy. The public are discouraged from having outdoor activities during hazy days as the dust, smoke and dry particles in the air literally choke the life out of us bit by bit. There are a string of respiratory problems linked to haze and they include lung diseases, asthma, and reduced lung development especially in children if they are exposed to such pollutants for an extended period of time.
Origin of Haze
Caused by industrial pollution and more visibly by the open fires around Indonesia and Malaysia, the thick haze is created and is carried hundreds and thousands of kilometers away to surrounding regions and beyond. The slash and burn techniques practiced by many people in rural agricultural areas have been identified as the cause of these open burning which often leads to forest fires when things get out of control. The authorities in Malaysia are trying to address this issue by pressuring and aiding the Indonesian government to fight the fires. Meanwhile cloud seeding in places with severe haze is being carried out to create rain in the hopes of washing down the dust and particles. The heat of the fires has brought the pollutants high into the atmosphere and the winds have carried them here to us, here we suffer as our daily lives are affected and the most vulnerable groups of people are as always, the young and the old whose immune systems are weaker.
Stay Fresh and Hydrated
As we are encouraged to always drink more water to stay healthy, it is even more important to do so during hazy weather. Water keeps us hydrated and allows our body to cleanse itself naturally while flushing out as much unwanted elements from the body as possible. Staying fresh means we should keep clean and washed often. Taking more frequent baths while washing our hands and faces often will help to keep the dirt away and reduce allergic and respiratory symptoms among other problems.
Stay Indoors with Clean Air
It is never easy to contain ourselves indoors for too long as we find the need to go out and get along with the things we want to do. But with the haze around, it is better to stay indoors and away from the smoky air which exposes us to so many health risks. If we have to go outdoors, be sure to wear a N95 respiratory mask for it can filter up to 95% of airborne particles as tiny as 0.3 micron in size. But at the same time, if we were to keep our home doors and windows tightly shut, the trapped air inside may not be all that good for us either. It is best to have the air purified so that we can have a peace of mind knowing that we and our loved ones are surrounded with healthy breathable air.
Breathing Healthier with Active Oxygen
Active oxygen is found in nature where water crashes against water such as at waterfalls and oceans. It is a natural gas that helps to remove dust particles in the atmosphere because of its negative ion charge which attaches itself with the dust particles on a molecular level and weighs it down to the surface of the ground. While performing this wonderful task of purifying the air of dust, active oxygen also kills 99.9% of all bacteria and viruses it comes into contact with because of its high oxygen content which molecularly burns and deactivates these bacteria and viruses. The technology developed by Medklinn does just that. The Versa Air + Surface Sterilizer lets you keep your family safe from the polluted and hazy air around us, and the added advantage is that the device can be brought with you just about anywhere as it is a mobile device which can be powered by a micro USB cable. The haze is something beyond our control, but we can surely take protective measures in dealing with haze in Malaysia.