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Concern about air quality, pollution, children's health

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stephaniess
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Concern about air quality, pollution, children's health

Postby stephaniess » Sun, 14 Aug 2011 9:41 pm

Hello. We are considering moving our young family to SG from Canada. We're read that WHO ranks SG's health system at 5th best in the world and we understand how the air quality is rated (measures) in SG. HOWEVER, we have not been able to find ANY information on pollution, air quality in Singapore. One of our three children is slightly asthmatic and has suffered from pneumonia in the past. According to WHO, 12 per cent of deaths in children 5 yrs and younger in SG are related to pneumonia. THIS makes us question the air quality - pollution issue in Singapore. Could anybody provide information, reassurance, guidance in this regard? Very much appreciated.

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prkravi
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Postby prkravi » Sun, 14 Aug 2011 10:00 pm

This is a good place to start:-
http://www.nea.gov.sg/psi/

http://app2.nea.gov.sg/topics_air.aspx

In general the air quality is safe and clean, but we are threatened frequently by the Haze that comes from Neighbouring Indonesia, when they burn down their forests annually. Not sure if it aggravates Asthma, but it gives me the Migraine...

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Postby poodlek » Sun, 14 Aug 2011 10:21 pm

The haze is disgusting, and lasts about a week, but the other 51 weeks/year I'd say Singapore's air quality is comparable to a medium sized city in Canada, like my home town Brampton. Just my qualitative observation-sorry can't help with quantitative.

As someone who's suffered terribly with allergies to plant pollens, dusts and molds all my life I can say that moving to Singapore has been a great relief on my system. It is a pretty lush and green city, so there are certainly things to be allergic to here, they just don't happen to be the same things I'm allergic to back home. I don't know if that's a coincidence or if allergies are related to childhood exposure or something.

The only other thing that might affect their breathing is the humidity-not sure if that would make it better or worse, but it's extremely humid here 365/year.

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x9200
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Postby x9200 » Mon, 15 Aug 2011 9:21 am

I am afraid 1 week it is a very optimistic scenario. The haze can last up to a month or so.

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sundaymorningstaple
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 15 Aug 2011 9:42 am

usually the "or so"

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poodlek
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Postby poodlek » Mon, 15 Aug 2011 12:43 pm

x9200 wrote:I am afraid 1 week it is a very optimistic scenario. The haze can last up to a month or so.


Haha I admit my perspective is limited--although I've experienced the haze only once I thought my experience was typical. I guess it would be safe to say it's different depending on where you live or from year to year? I'm in the Harbourfront area.

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Postby boffenl » Mon, 15 Aug 2011 12:56 pm

This was also a big concern for my husband when we moved here (he reads more crap on-line than I do I guess). He did look at the NEA and some US sites that look at air quality. Singapore also has several air monitoring stations that I'm sure you can find the data on.

It is a big concern. Don't downplay it. However, if you have an air conditioned home and your child attends an air conditioned school, I doubt they will have much difficulty. I'm very lucky that my kid only had to deal with terrible nose bleeds in getting used to the on/off air conditioning and humid weather when we arrived.

We came from central Indiana with large corn refineries--the smell and polution was terrible some days. I think my husband felt like he hadn't done his homework before he allowed me to move our family there--he wasn't going to make the same mistake again. It's been a gradual accomodation to the haze--I've never seen it worse than 2009 down in Marina Bay area--looks like SG had forest fires for a good month.

Good luck!

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x9200
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Postby x9200 » Mon, 15 Aug 2011 1:59 pm

I think if the smoke is here all the areas are equally affected.
OP, better ensure your kid can take it because it can be pretty thick. You typically can smell it and if it is bad enough (often) you feel it also in your eyes. I am not sure if AC helps that much - the air still goes from outside.
2009 was probably one of the worst.
http://www.google.com/webhp?q=haze+sing ... 2F1%2F2009

http://www.nea.gov.sg/psi/
Last edited by x9200 on Mon, 15 Aug 2011 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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boffenl
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Postby boffenl » Mon, 15 Aug 2011 2:07 pm

AC helps only if the filters are cleaned often--some newer A/C units come with HEPA and other filters to help with the smell and particles. I've never had so much dirt and "stuff" in my air con vents as I've had here in Singapore.

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BillyB
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Postby BillyB » Mon, 15 Aug 2011 9:53 pm

Lucky you aren't going to Hong Kong - you need a permanent gas mark up there!!

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Postby movingtospore » Thu, 18 Aug 2011 10:11 am

Singapore is a bit notorious for respiratory infections....but it's all relative. For this part of the world, the air is pretty good. The health care system is quite good but beware of those stats...there's a whole lot of people Sing leaves out in their reprint...all the low income maids, construction workers and others who are temporary workers. And would no doubt bring down their health numbers.

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boffenl
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Postby boffenl » Thu, 18 Aug 2011 10:52 am

I'd agree, it took us about a year to acclimatize (sp?). We had colds, fevers, ear infections, etc. But about a year later our bodies adjusted and we've been relatively healthy ever since. I was so happy with the SG healthcare system our first year--it is cheap, clean and (relatively) efficient.

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Postby sonrisa » Fri, 19 Aug 2011 9:10 am

not to get too off topic but does anybody have any stats./info. on the spraying for bugs that goes on here? I can't imagine that is healthy, but I may rather have that than roaches but...when I open my lower cabinet in my kitchen it smells like a hazard chemicals lab.

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Postby nakatago » Fri, 19 Aug 2011 9:20 am

sonrisa wrote:not to get too off topic but does anybody have any stats./info. on the spraying for bugs that goes on here? I can't imagine that is healthy, but I may rather have that than roaches but...when I open my lower cabinet in my kitchen it smells like a hazard chemicals lab.


When they do that is announced; usually posted in the common bulletin board of your building.

It should be relatively safe; that is, no different from you using bug spray. Just apply common sense and you'll be fine.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 19 Aug 2011 10:06 am

It's hazardous only if you tend to stand in the middle of the fogging cloud day after day for hours on end. Even then, ENV/Pest control workers have to have blood tests every 6 months in order to monitor. In 15 years of our company's operations, we've never had a failed blood test. Put it this way, it isn't as dangerous as drinking 2 liters of Coke every day........

As far as the smell is concerned, it's no worse than going to the hairdresser or a durian stall or a Kimchi stall or using nước mắm fish sauce or belachan.


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