20140625 NEA aware PM 2.5 figures in unhealthy range but…

The real reason why the NEA has refused to publish PM 2.5 figures is because it has been in the unhealthy range the last few days and may require firms to issue stop work order.
Construction workers are required to wear N 95 masks but it is impossible to be worn over prolonged periods due to the weather and the strenuous nature of work.
Breathing becomes laboured and very soon the masks becomes wet, rendering them ineffective. If the haze does not take a toll on the workers’ health, wearing a mask eventually does.

Under the current unhealthy range of PM 2.5, Raffles Medical’s advisory states that “Everyone else should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion. levels”.
http://www.rafflesmedicalgroup.com/ImgCont/2934/haze-and-health-effects.pdf

It is not up to PAP politicians to override the medical profession, sacrificing workers’ health to boost profits for companies.

The current PSI falls within the moderate range of between 50 and 100. This gives the wrong impression that the haze is not that bad. But in reality, the more important figure is actually the PM 2.5 which is in the unhealthy range! In its advisory on 19 June, no mention was even made of PM 2.5.

Much research has gone into the study of PM with the last US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) update in 7 months ago. http://www.epa.gov/airquality/particlepollution/2012/decfsstandards.pdf The US did not move away from the PSI for cosmetic reasons. The NEA appears to be way behind the curve. More Singaporeans have begun to lose trust in our statutory boards for insisting on an archaic method of measurement which impacts on our health.

To have an idea how unhealthy PM 2.5 really is, please refer to this website. http://aqicn.org/city/singapore/central/ After visiting this website, you will probably not return to NEA’s in future. It also shows the air quality in hundreds of cities and thousands of locations in the world. For eg, it also shows certain places in China which are extremely polluted. The information is a necessity for planning a vacation.

The PAP has tried to impress the population with the participation of different ministries and agencies in the new Inter Ministerial Haze Committee on 19 June. Annex B shows advisory for PSI between 100 to 300. That no mention was made of PM 2.5 shows how the third world mindset of the NEA has continued to this day..

At the rate of our ‘progress’ against the haze, there is a strong likelihood that our third world NEA will leave many Singaporeans high and dry with severe respiratory problems in future.

AsiaOne’s portal shows a 3 hr PSI reading, again the unhealthy PM 2.5 has been intentionally left out. Please think again, does the government simply doesn’t want anyone to panic or is the profit motive for businesses their only priority?

Phillip Ang

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