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Turquoise Sky

haze policy & PROCEDURE

How Will Haze Affect Your Wildlings Session?

We follow the Government's health advisory shown in the poster below for immediate outdoor activities. 

 

Usually if we can't see, smell, or otherwise notice a change in the air quality at the location of your session it will be business as usual. 

Elevated levels above 150 for the 1hr - PM2.5 are usually noticeable, and your session Leader will check the current 1-HR situation and modify the physical level of your session accordingly. 

If levels reach 201 or above for PM2.5, your session may not go ahead and could end early.

For next day activities. we will ensure we are prepared to alter the physical level of session plans if needed, but we do not make any decisions to cancel or postpone sessions more than 1-hr before the allowed timeslot because haze, like thunderstorms, is localised, depends on the wind direction, and can change quickly. 

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Procedure
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Campfire activities will be replaced with alternatives at 1-HR PM2.5 readings of 151 or above. 

We will notify those attending Forest School, events, or Nature Playtime via email of any changes. 

We will call all party customers and group booking customers to notify of any changes. 

What is haze?

Haze is a form of trans-boundary air pollution which affects Singapore seasonally. The haze refers to the loss of visibility experienced due to the smoke which is blown over the island of Singapore from forest fires mainly on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. 

Forest fires are started deliberately in Indonesia every year to clear land for palm oil plantations, despite being illegal. Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia work together to try and limit the effects of the trans-boundary pollution, mainly with success since 2015 when Singapore experienced one of the most prolonged periods of unhealthy levels of air pollution on record. In 2019 a prolonged dry spell exacerbated the number and spread of burning hot spots and led to a return of unhealthy levels of haze pollution. 

Pollution Standards Index

In Singapore the air quality index used is called the Pollution Standards Index (PSI). It is calculated from a combination of air quality data from monitoring stations which read levels of sulphur dioxide (SO2), particulate matter (PM10), fine particulate matter (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO) and ozone (O3). A 24hr-PM10 reading is provided by the National Environment Agency along with a 1hr PM2.5 reading, a 24-hr PSI forecast to help the public plan activities and accompanying health advice. 

Fire hot spots in South East Asia resulting in haze pollution in Singapore in 2019

Fire hot spots in South East Asia resulting in haze pollution in Singapore in 2019

The Main Pollutants: PM10 and PM2.5

PM10 is particulate matter 10 micrometers or less in diameter, PM2.5 is particulate matter 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter. PM2.5 is generally described as fine particles. By way of comparison, a human hair is about 100 micrometres, so roughly 40 fine particles could be placed on its width.

PM2.5 is more harmful to human health than PM10 because the fine particles are so small they are not filtered as effectively by the body's natural filters. PM10 particles are most often filtered within the nose, mouth and throat before they reach the lungs. There is a greater chance with the deep breathing resulting from physical exertion that these particles can lodge deep into the lung tissue and over time and exposure contribute to chronic health issues. 

Other regular sources of these pollutants occur daily in Singapore without the addition of the pollution from forest fires. Anyone spending time waiting at bus stops or running or cycling along busy roads, or exposed to cigarette smoke is regularly experiencing elevated concentrations of particulate matter, 

Particulate Matter 2.5 is the most serious pollutant and therefore attention to the 1-hr PM2.5 reading (µg/m3) which is provided separately (and almost uniquely in Singapore) to the overall PSI is the most important indicator influencing Wildings' haze policy and decision making. The NEA describe this index as the most important factor for 'deciding whether or not to go for a jog' so it is also the most relevant for deciding whether or not to go ahead with a forest school session. 

Factors affecting the severity of the haze event
  • Direction of the wind

  • Amount of rainfall

  • Levels of ground moisture

  • Number of fires set (hotspots)

  • Actions taken by the authorities to put out the fires

Factors affecting the effect of the Singapore haze on health

Only you know what your level, and your child's level of exposure to the Haze is. This is determined by:

  • How much time you and your child are spending indoors in air conditioned or air purified environments

  • How much time you or your child is spending outdoors physically active

  • The status of you or your child's respiratory health

  • Your personal tolerance for haze, which may be lower or higher, even when the health advisory is for normal or minimised outdoor activities to continue 

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