Air quality in Singapore unaffected by Johor incident: NEA

Malaysian newspaper The Star reported last Thursday that 15 students from a Taman Mawar school had suffered breathing difficulties and vomiting believed to be caused by air pollution.
Malaysian newspaper The Star reported last Thursday that 15 students from a Taman Mawar school had suffered breathing difficulties and vomiting believed to be caused by air pollution.PHOTO: BERNAMA

The air quality in Singapore has remained good and has not been affected by what has been described as an "air pollution incident" which resulted in the closure of schools in the Taman Mawar area of Pasir Gudang in Johor.

In response to queries, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said yesterday that it is in contact with its counterparts in Johor's Department of the Environment, and that the 24-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) and the PM2.5 readings in Singapore have remained in the "good" and "normal" ranges since last Thursday.

NEA added that the wind has been blowing over Singapore from the south and south-east, and that it expects this to continue for the next few days.

The ambient levels of volatile organic compounds along Sin-gapore's coast have also remai-ned low and within safe levels, NEA said.

Malaysian newspaper The Star reported last Thursday that 15 students from a Taman Mawar school had suffered breathing difficulties and vomiting believed to have been caused by air pollution.

The students complained of a strange smell and discomfort in their eyes and throats.

On Sunday, students from three more schools reported similar symptoms.

The authorities in Johor ordered all schools within a 6km radius of Taman Mawar, including kindergartens and institutes of higher learning, to close until June 27.

 
 
 

The Star reported that students from another eight schools were reported to be affected yesterday, bringing the total number of people affected to at least 60.

Yishun and Punggol residents told The Straits Times yesterday that they did not notice anything out of the ordinary at the weekend.

Mr Kamarudin Jantan, 66, said he was taking care of his grandchildren in his Punggol flat over the past few days but did not notice any unusual smells. He said he could see Pasir Gudang from his sixth-storey unit.

Student Justin Loh, 12, who was at Punggol Waterway Park on Saturday, said there was "nothing out of the ordinary" there. The park is about 7km away from Taman Mawar.

Yishun resident Vicky Soo, a housewife in her 40s, said her family has not been affected, but added that she would be keeping the windows closed for the next few days as a precaution.

A spokesman for Sengkang General Hospital, which is close to Punggol, said that the hospital has not seen any cases as a result of the pollution in Pasir Gudang.

•Additional reporting by Renee Neo

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 25, 2019, with the headline 'Air quality in S'pore unaffected by Johor incident: NEA'. Print Edition | Subscribe