Do you really need the N95 mask?
Singaporean politician and surgeon Dr Koh Poh Koon has uploaded some helpful information about what masks to buy for the haze onto his Facebook page. Find out what masks you should be looking for and what masks work and what does not.
With the Air Pollutant Index (API) in Malaysia recently reaching way above the “hazardous” levels in Muar and Ledang districts, so bad that the government has declared a “haze emergency”, many people are rushing to buy N95 masks to protect themselves against the haze.
However, Malaysians need to remain calm and rational in this dire situation. Therefore, here are some common misconceptions that should be cleared regarding the haze in Malaysia:
1. Ordinary surgical masks does not serve any protection so don’t go rushing for them.
2. N95 is useful but only if it is of the right size and worn in a proper manner to be effective.
3. Short term exposure to the haze is not going to lead to bodily harm unless you belong to the vulnerable group with chest diseases, young ones or the elderly. Asthmatic patients should continue medications during this period and seek medical attention early if feeling unwell.
4. Only those who needs to be outdoors for long periods of time need to wear the N95 masks. If you are sitting in an air-conditioned office, there is no real need to wear one. Majority of people therefore do not need to be wearing N95 masks.
5. Short term exposure will not cause cancers.
The best thing to do is to stay indoors with air-conditioning and seek medical attention early. Stay calm and look out for those around us. Let’s not go into panic buying of N95 masks!