Haze survival guide

Ms Inna Angullia, who has two children, spent almost $1,200 on two air purifiers with Hepa filters.
Ms Inna Angullia, who has two children, spent almost $1,200 on two air purifiers with Hepa filters.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

From air purifiers and beauty products to food, drink and places to go, Life finds out how you can combat the haze.


Hepa filters work best

To stand out in the market, many new air purifiers come with bells and whistles.

Besides their main function of removing dust particles, manufacturers say that some can also humidify the air to relieve sinus problems or ionise it to remove bacteria and viruses. Others double as fans or mosquito catchers.

 

The range is so wide that it is enough to give consumers a headache, haze or no haze. But experts say that when shopping for an air purifier, the most important thing to look out for is a high efficiency particulate air (Hepa) filter.

Read more here.

Stick to tested N95


The 3M 9211 mask, which has a one-way valve and is selling at $3.50 each, was introduced last month. PHOTO: 3M SINGAPORE

Newfangled masks - some with fancy colours, shapes and designs - and other products that claim to help in the haze have come onto the market.

But experts advise that it is best to stick to masks and products which have been tested and endorsed by appropriate environmental or health organisations.

The Government's haze microsite (www.haze.gov.sg) identifies two categories of masks designed to reduce the exposure to airborne contaminants such as particles and gases.

Read more here.

Keep skin clean, don't over-moisturise

The air is thick and dirty, so what exactly will it do to your skin?

Dermatologist Chan Yuin Chew at Dermatology Associates at the Gleneagles Medical Centre, says there is nothing to worry about if you have healthy skin. "For most people, short-term exposure to the haze should not cause any major skin problems."

However, he adds that for those with intolerant skin or existing skin conditions such as eczema, haze particles may trigger skin irritation that results in dry, itchy and red rashes.

Read more here.

Set stage for kids to play creatively

Mrs Adeline Tan and her son, Noah, three, made a cardboard aeroplane two Fridays ago when the haze forced schools to close for a day.
Mrs Adeline Tan and her son, Noah, three, made a cardboard aeroplane two Fridays ago when the haze forced schools to close for a day. PHOTO: LIM YONG TECK FOR THE SUNDAY TIMES

When the air turns too hazy, forcing school closure, parents have to get busy - thinking of how to keep their children occupied indoors.

When the haze kept her three- year-old son out of preschool two Fridays ago, Mrs Adeline Tan did not panic. The 34-year-old housewife took out a book on cardboard- box activities and proceeded to make a cardboard aeroplane with her son, Noah.

Over three hours in the morning, she cut the cardboard box while he put stickers on the box and painted it.

Read more here.

Stay hydrated and load up on vitamins

Sales of herbal drinks have soared as people try to keep themselves hydrated with cooling drinks during the haze.
Sales of herbal drinks have soared as people try to keep themselves hydrated with cooling drinks during the haze. ST PHOTO: YEO KAI WEN

With the haze, many people are flocking to traditional Chinese medicine shops to pick up herbs for brewing soups and drinks.

At the Hockhua Tonic chain, its general manager James Teo says sales of its bottled herbal drinks have increased by more than 30 per cent, along with those of pre- mixed herbal tea ingredients and chrysanthemum.

Sales of bird's nest have also increased by about 10 per cent. Other products such as white fungus, mung bean, barley, ginseng tea and cordyceps have also been popular.

Read more here.