In our latest post, we have Dr. Aaron to share a little bit on the haze that’s currently affecting our air quality here in Malaysia and the effect of PM2.5 in the air we are breathing. Let’s see what he has to share with us:
Indeed these are hazy days! The purpose of this post is to inform and educate those who are not yet aware of the risks and hazards posed to our health in the air pollutants floating around us.
The recent pollutants are as a result of forest or jungle fires from our neighbouring countries. Released into the air are not just coarse particles, which typically do not travel more than several hundred metres, but also the fine particles which are capable of travelling more than several hundred kilometres. These fine particles, denoted as PM2.5, are a cause of concern as they are very small in size measuring less than 2.5 micrometer in diameter (25-30x thinner than the human hair).
How can PM2.5 affect my health?
Particulate Matter or PM2.5 is capable of being lodged into our airways just from normal breathing. Our lungs respond to these foreign particulates by producing mucous to trap these particulates in an attempt to expel them from our respiratory systems. Some of the adverse health effects include:
- Shortness of breath and wheezing
- Aggravated asthma
- Eye, ear, nose, and throat irritations
Scientific studies have also shown that increased PM2.5 inhalation has led to increased respiratory and and cardiovascular hospital admissions and emergency department visits.
How do I reduce my exposure to PM2.5?
While it is mainly the outdoors that contain elevated PM2.5 levels, it can still sneak into your living rooms and bedrooms. Imagine breathing in all these particulates through your mouth and nose every time you take a breath. Listed below are some useful tips on how you can reduce your levels of exposure:
- Get your regular chiropractic adjustments to stimulate function of the thoracic region
- Stay indoors
- Avoid strenuous exercise, especially the elderly and children
- Drink lots of fluids
- Use a N95 mask when outdoors for prolonged periods of time. Normal surgical masks are not effective in filtering these particulates
- Use an indoor Air Purifier that removes PM2.5
So, now that we know a little bit more on the effects of the haze on our health, let take active steps as recommended by Dr. Aaron to reduce our exposure to PM2.5.