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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Domestic factors causing haze in Malaysia, says dept


The causes of the current haze in Malaysia have been identified to be domestic sources such as forest burning, smoke from factories, vehicle emissions and open burning.

Malaysian Meteorological Department (JMM) director-general Che Gayah Ismail said the haze had no connection with the recent eruption of Mount Sinabung in North Sumatera, Indonesia or other outside factors.

She said the hot and dry weather without any rainfall for several days experienced in the country only made the situation worse.

“This time, the haze is caused by domestic sources and the lack of rainfall has caused such things as gas, dust, ash and particles to float in the atmosphere  and not fall down to the earth,” she toldBernama.

The department’s records showed that the haze was now concentrated in large urban areas with economic and industrial activities as well as a large number of vehicles such as Kuala Lumpur, Selangor (Subang) and Penang (Seberang Perai).

Che Gayah said the temperature due to the hot and dry weather this year was high compared to the same period last year and this was expected to continue until the middle of March.

“However, the haze is still within control but early measures to prevent it getting worse should be taken, including avoiding open burning and reduced use of private vehicles on the roads,” she said.

The Air Pollution Index recorded by the Department of Environment at noon today showed that the air quality status in 23 areas was good while in 26 others, it was average.

Meanwhile, the vice-president of the Public Health Specialists Association, Dr Othman Warijo, said more cases of fever were recorded during a period of haze.

Without stating the number of people who came down with fever, he said an adequate intake of water would help the body’s resistance become stronger.

“Drink enough water, whether plain or isotonic, although you cannot drink too much isotonic water as it has a high sugar content,” he said.

He also advised the public to avoid too much intake of ice in their drinks as it could contribute to other ailments like coughing and allergies for some people.

Bernama

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