The regional haze issue plaguing the Asean region has prompted the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Ministry (Mestecc) to urge other group member nations to take proactive action by ensuring their forest and peat soil fires are controlled so as to prevent transboundary haze episodes from occurring.
While helpless Malaysians are trying to combat the worsening air quality by wearing face masks, three individuals – product designer Nattu Adnan, an MNC manager Suresh Tan and engineer Mazin Ahmed – have designed a website to track pollution level.
Called Hazemalaysia.com, the site conveniently displays API (Air Pollutant Index) numbers of major cities in the country, providing easily comprehensible information on the air pollution level. For example, values below 50 indicates low pollution without any bad effect on health while a 200-300 reading signifies an unhealthy air condition that may be dangerous to high-risk people, such as children, elderly and people with heart and lung complications.
API values have soared for the past few days but many Malaysians are still walking around without a proper mask. To help you understand your masks better, Hazemalaysia.com has designed an infographic that explains how efficient they are against the haze. Surgical masks have been proven to be less effective against fine particles, as compared with N95 masks that are 95% more efficient, and can be reused as long as it’s not soiled or distorted in shape.
Beyond tracking API levels, the site also measures air quality relative to the number of cigarettes you may be ‘smoking’. At the time of writing, Ampang Hilir, which has a very unhealthy reading of 249, is equivalent to smoking 11.3 cigarettes.
Instead of reading about the haze from various online portals, Hazemalaysia.com has gathered a variety of news sources for easy consumption. And if the smoke is getting to you, you can always turn to the cleverly curated playlist on Spotify called Hazed & Confused to vent your frustrations.