Now that the haze is back, we really need to take the necessary steps to stay healthy.
The Health Ministry has recently issued a health advisory for workplace on its website, advising Malaysians to minimise exposure to haze as it may pose long-term negative effects on our health, as reported by The Star.
Haze is caused by small particles that are composed of microscopic solids or liquid droplets. These particles can get deep into our lungs and cause serious health problems.
Some of the common short-term effects of haze are eye irritation, watery eyes and/or conjunctivitis, running nose, stuffy nose, and sneezing and/or post-nasal drip.
Meanwhile, other effects include:
- Throat irritation
- Dry throat
- Sore throat and/or coughing
- Fatigue and/or stress
- Decreased lung function
- Depressed respiratory immune defence
- Chest tightness
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath and bronchitis (lung inflammation)
The ministry said these symptoms are usually mild and will easily subside by staying indoors to minimise exposure to haze. That said, those with certain health conditions will be more prone to suffering the negative effects of haze. The ministry said on its website,
“However, in susceptible individuals such as diabetics or the elderly and those suffering from chronic diseases, especially respiratory and heart diseases, their condition may be worsened by haze and they are likelier to experience more severe haze-related effects than healthy people.”
Moreover, exposure to these toxic particles can cause long-term risks such as promoting the thickening of the arteries and vascular diseases.
The ministry has since urged Malaysians to minimise outdoor activities and wear a respirator or face mask when we are outside.
General measures can be taken at the workplace to minimise haze exposure too, such as closing all windows or openings to prevent haze from entering the workplace. Besides, air conditioners should be regularly cleaned and serviced.
“An air purifier or air cleaning device may be used to reduce the amount of air contaminants that may be circulating in the building.”
Should anyone like to lodge a complaint pertaining to environmental pollution, including open burning, you can dial the Environment Department at 03-8889 1972, its hotline 1-800-88-2727 or lodge the complaint online.
So guys, remember to drink lots of water and minimise outdoor activities!
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