Published: Saturday February 15, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Saturday February 15, 2014 MYT 9:18:03 AM
Staying safe during the heatwave
WARNING bells just went off to alert Malay-sians on the possible exposure to volcanic ash from the recent eruption of Mount Sinabung in north Sumatra.
The ash along with smog from factories and motor vehicles as well as forest fires, due to prolonged drought in several parts of the nation, could exacerbate the air quality.
Below are several ways to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Children can be protected by minimising outdoor activities and staying indoors more.
To clean the air indoors, set-up air-purifying devices at homes as these purifiers would be able to reduce the amount of fine particles in a room to an acceptable level during severe haze incidents.
Instead of using fans, using air-conditioners is more advisable.
However, make sure that they are at good working condition by regularly servicing them to avoid the penetration of the fine particulate matters into your indoor air.
The health risks can also be reduced by wearing masks or respirators when we are outdoors to protect us from breathing the fine particulates in the air.
Another way is by closing all windows and openings that may allow particles to enter indoor facilities.
Also, people are advised to not wear contact lenses during hazy period as this may irritate the eyes and finally end up causing blindness.
Also, avoid driving when the visibility is severely affected.
You are advised to drink more water and eat more fruits and vegetables to flush out the toxins from your body.
Minimise the intake of coffee and alcohol to avoid body fluid loss.
Avoid smoking indoors which could add up to the level of smoke particles.
For those suffering from heart and respiratory illnesses, please take your medication regularly and seek medical attention immediately should you develop any breathlessness.
On another note, the heat wave could also lead to water stress due to lack of rainfall.
Forest/bush fires could further increase the demand for water.
Thus, it is important for us to use water wisely and avoid water wastage.
Finally, it is our responsibility to prevent
forest/bush fire by refraining from performing any open burning.
To report open burning, call JASLine at 1800-88-2727. In an event of forest/bush fire quickly contact Bomba at 999.
MATHINI ARVEENA RAVEE
Research and Policy Executive
Forum Air Malaysia