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Singapore's air quality dips briefly after 2 days of clearer skies

Singapore's air quality dips briefly after 2 days of clearer skies
Published October 10, 2023 Updated October 10, 2023 Bookmark Bookmark Share WhatsApp Telegram Facebook Twitter Email LinkedIn

SINGAPORE — After two days of respite from the haze, Singapore’s air quality momentarily dipped again on Tuesday (Oct 10), with the 1-hr PM2.5 reading just crossing into the elevated range at 11am.

The reading in the east, at 56, was on the edge of the elevated range (56-150), while readings in the north, west, south and central areas were in the normal range.

The air quality in the east returned to the normal range soon after, according to an update on the National Environment Agency (NEA) website at noon.

The Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) for the next 24 hours is forecast to be in the moderate range for all regions, according to NEA’s data.

On Saturday, Singapore’s air quality fell into the unhealthy range for the first time since 2019, as winds brought haze from Indonesia’s forest fires.

NEA had forecast a low likelihood of haze on Tuesday, as rain in the region was expected to improve the hotspot situation in Indonesia. 

The agency added that wetter conditions were observed over many parts of the surrounding region on Monday.

The health impact of haze is dependent on one’s health status, the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) level, and the length and intensity of outdoor activity. NEA regards a PSI reading of 101-200 as “unhealthy”. 

The 24-hour PSI forecast and corresponding health advisories can be used when planning next-day outdoor activities.

For immediate outdoor activities, members of the public should check the 1-hr PM2.5 concentration readings and personal guide. 

Air quality readings and advisories can be found on www.haze.gov.sg and the myENV app.

On Saturday, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu said that Singapore has enough masks for use if the haze worsens.

“We have been planning for that,” she said when asked about preparations to make masks available. “I believe that we have sufficient stock for us. But of course, it’s always important to remember that we’re dealing with uncertain weather conditions.”

Ms Fu added that if necessary, Singapore will acquire more masks.

According to the interagency haze task force, N95 masks are not required for short exposure such as commuting from home to school or work. CNA

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