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Singapore air quality back to 'unhealthy' levels on Sunday

Singapore air quality back to 'unhealthy' levels on Sunday

Hazy skies at the Central Business District in Singapore on Sep 22, 2019. (Photo: Chung Lyn-Yi)

SINGAPORE: Singapore's air quality worsened on Sunday (Sep 22) with the Pollutants Standards Index (PSI) edging back to the "unhealthy" range across the country and one-hour PM2.5 readings rising to "elevated" levels for most of the day.

As of 11pm, the PSI readings were:

  • 115 in the north
  • 121 in the east
  • 126 in the south
  • 113 in the west
  • 114 in the central region

According to the National Environment Agency (NEA), PSI readings of 50 and below denote “good” air quality, “moderate” for 51-100 and “unhealthy” for 101-200.

READ: Understand the haze - What do Singapore's air quality readings mean?

READ: Cutting through the haze: When do you need an N95 mask?

The one-hour PM2.5 reading at 11pm ranged between 66-82 µg/m3, which is in the Elevated band. The reading was highest in the central region, registering at 82 µg/m3.

PM2.5 is a measure of tiny particles less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter in the air. When the PM2.5 reading is in the elevated range, haze particles can affect the heart and lungs, especially in people who have chronic heart or lung conditions.

Hazy skies seen in this view of The Pinnacle@Duxton building in Singapore on Sunday Sep 22, 2019. (Photo: Low Zoey)

According to NEA, one-hour PM2.5 readings are a "good indicator of current air quality", and can be used for those deciding whether to go for immediate outdoor activities, such as a jog.

Singapore's skies had cleared in recent days, with PSI readings staying within the "moderate" band throughout the whole of Friday.

Organisers say they have a contingency plan if the haze worsens and have been stocking up on face masks to protect against pollution which spectators can buy at the circuit.

People along Orchard Road wearing masks amid the haze on Sunday Sep 22, 2019.

Commentary: Air pollution’s nasty effects should motivate stronger action but hasn’t

Indonesia, and its neighbours Malaysia and Singapore, have been worst affected by haze but it is starting to spread over a wider area in Southeast Asia.

Haze was detected Friday in central and southern parts of the Philippines, while thousands of schools have been forced to close in Malaysia and Indonesia amid mounting health concerns.

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Source: CNA/nc


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