On June 19th, Singapore Pollution Index (PSI) rose to 321. This is the worst air pollution crisis in Singapore’s history. Illegal burning of forest to clear land for palm oil is a recurrent problem in Indonesia and Singaporeans are somewhat used to haze this time of the year. But this time is the worst ever and commercial pressure against companies causing the haze could come too late.
This level is recognised as hazardous. Below are some advice for my friends in Singapore:
- Stay indoors : keep doors and windows closed. If you have an air-conditioner, use the air filtration mode.
- If you need to go outside, use a mask to cover both your nose and mouth. It should catch tiny particles below 0.3 microns.
- if you are driving, windows should be rolled up, use your car air-filtration system if you have one.
- Avoid any physical effort if you are outside. Indeed, the air volume you are inhaling can be 25x higher if you are running compared to walking.
Infipure has been selling the invisible air mask on Taobao for two weeks. They offer three sizes and are pretty cheap.
There is not a lot of technical detail available yet. So it is not clear how effective the masks are. How often the user should change the mask is also unclear. But it is worth trying. The air cleaner and air mask markets are booming because the general public in China is now very concerned about air pollution. I am overall pretty enthusiastic about the idea of Infipure. The start-up is offering a short term solution to a public health emergency. And I am also glad Infipure’s founders are co-MIT grads!