Malaysia is once again engulfed by haze, with more and more areas seeing worsening Air Pollution Index (API) readings.

Schools nationwide have been forced to close, and the haze also affects productivity levels at the office. But this is just skimming the surface of the true impact of haze on our country.

On Wednesday, the Dewan Rakyat approved a motion to discuss the haze problem affecting Malaysia.

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The Health Ministry (MOH) has issued guidelines on how care for one's health during the haze. Such information is often overlooked, or not adhered to, especially for those who have to spend time outdoors.

As taking care of your health remains a priority during this period, we share with you five things that you may not know about the haze and how it can affect your health.


1) How does haze affect your health?

In the short-term, haze may cause irritation of the eyes, nose and throat in healthy individuals.

The heart and lungs are particularly affected by particles in haze, raising risks for those with heart or lung conditions.

It may take between one and three days for the effects or symptoms of haze to be felt.

Short-term adverse effects of exposure to haze:As for long-term effects of haze, there is not much data available. After all, haze usually does not affect a particular geographic location throughout the year.

But according to some studies, continuous exposure to haze will raise the risk of cardiovascular effects, reduced lung development and the development of chronic respiratory diseases in kids.

The long-term risks associated with exposure to fine particles:
2) How does the haze affect vulnerable groups?

In general, everyone - even those without any health conditions will be affected by the haze. However, two vulnerable groups that will be greatly affected are babies and the elderly due to their physical condition.

Babies:The elderly:
3) General measures at the workplace

4) What safety measure can I take at home?

5) What safety measures can I take when I am outside?