As a parent of four young children, three of whom are currently enrolled in infant-care or childcare centres, I am uncomfortable with incense burning bins being located too close to HDB flats and childcare centres at these void decks.
While I understand the need for these burning bins, there should be guidelines on where they should be placed.
These bins are a much better option than open burning on the ground, but they do still generate quite a lot of smoke and ash.
When these bins are located too near HDB flats, the smoke and ash have nowhere to go but along the HDB void decks or up the block and into people's homes.
It is much worse when these bins are located right next to childcare centres which do not have air-conditioning. The children in these affected centres cannot run away to escape the smoke, and closing all the windows will only make their classrooms more stuffy.
We all agree that smoking is bad for health. Breathing smoke from a burning bin is much worse than breathing smoke from a lit cigarette.
When the bins are in use, the burnt contents in them are usually left smouldering for a long period of time, and they can emit harmful substances like carbon monoxide and fine particulate matter that can easily find their way into the lungs of young and vulnerable children and their caregivers.
Hence, I suggest that town councils place these bins at least 25m away from a residential block, and at least 50m away from an infant-care or childcare centre.
Daniel Oon Ban Hock