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|Air pollution level
|Air quality index
| 67 US AQI
PM2.5 concentration in Seremban is currently 4 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Saturday, Feb 24
Moderate 55 AQI US
|Sunday, Feb 25
Moderate 52 AQI US
|Monday, Feb 26
Moderate 62 AQI US
Moderate 67 AQI US
|Wednesday, Feb 28
Good 33 AQI US
|Thursday, Feb 29
Good 28 AQI US
|Friday, Mar 1
Good 31 AQI US
|Saturday, Mar 2
Good 33 AQI US
|Sunday, Mar 3
Good 28 AQI US
|Monday, Mar 4
Good 32 AQI US
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Seremban or (Soghomban or Somban) in the Seremban District, is a city and the capital of Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. It only recently gained city status on 20th January 2020. Its estimated population in 2015 was just over 620,000 people.
In early 2021, Seremban was experiencing a quality of air that was deemed as “Unhealthy for sensitive groups” with a US AQI reading of 110. This classification is in accordance with figures suggested by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The recorded level of the pollutant PM2.5 was 39.3 µg/m³.
With levels of pollution as high as these, it is recommended to close doors and windows to prevent the ingress of dirty air into the room. Outdoor exercise should be avoided until the air quality improves. Those of a sensitive disposition are encouraged to wear a mask if they have to venture outdoors, but delaying such trips would be more beneficial. Running an air purifier would be of great help if one is available.
Haze is a major problem in Seremban at certain times of the year. Studies in the United States show that exposure to haze has a long-term negative impact on human health. Humans are prone to acute or temporary health problems such as dry eyes, coughs and so on. Both are chronic problems when fine particles of haze measuring 2.0 microns or smaller can pass through the airways, heart, lungs and blood vessels to cause other diseases.
The problem of severe haze is not uncommon in Malaysia because many people know it happens every year.
Various suggestions and guidelines are issued to help the community avoid experiencing health problems during the haze season, including being indoors rather than outside. This is an interesting concept because many people do not know that being in a building also does not 'free' people from the effects of haze.
People spend almost 90 per cent of their time in buildings, especially offices, houses, cars and shopping complexes. However, not many people know that the air inside the building can also be polluted by up to two to five times when compared to the outside atmosphere.
This is because the building or car has a centralised ventilation system. When compared to the outside air, it has several reduction factors including rain and wind that clean the polluted air. When air containing haze enters the indoor area, only 20 per cent of the air is re-released through the filtration system while the remaining 80 per cent remains in the building space.
Forest fires in Sumatra, which are believed to bring haze to the Peninsula, are among the main causes of air pollution in Seremban. This situation has been realised since last year and the reading of the Air Pollution Index (IPU) shows that the main cause is open burning.
It was stated that the Department of the Environment always conducts monitoring and enforcement in industrial areas in the state to ensure pollution is always controlled, thus reducing the impact on the environment.
Just recently, the DOE has received complaints from local residents regarding air pollution in the area for the past two weeks. The results of enquiries made over the past few days found that three factories in the area, namely the tin smelting factory, a plastic recycling factory and a tile making factory were amongst the main causes of the pollution.
Investigations found that the tin smelting and plastic recycling factories have been operating illegally for the past six months, and now they will be prevented from operating under Section 38 of the Environmental Quality Act 1974. The tile factory was found to process diesel spraying without sufficient air control devices to control the air pollution produced. The factory operator was given notice in accordance with Sections 31 and 37 of the same Act to install adequate air pollution control within two weeks.
A furniture manufacturing factory was also under investigation as noxious odours were detected in the nearby surroundings. It transpired that they were making their own glue and the solvents they were using were emitting the noxious fumes. The offending equipment was confiscated and taken away to be tested.
When three stations that monitor air quality report figures higher than normal, the Haze Action Plan will go into operation.
Through this Haze Action Plan, we will conduct 24-hour monitoring, including conducting patrols in every district, especially agricultural areas. The main focus is to ensure that there is no open burning activity which will of course worsen the haze if it is not controlled.
Various policies and programs have been implemented to reduce air pollution; for example vehicle restrictions to reduce traffic, fuel standards for cars, buses and other motor transport, industry regulations to limit pollution from factories, and the replacement of inefficient and older kitchens. To date, there have been no reviews that systematically investigate whether these measures impact air pollution and health as expected.
Worldwide, outdoor air pollution is a serious public health problem. In 2016, about 4 million deaths were due to air pollution, mostly due to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Air pollution is also associated with other health problems, such as asthma. This situation worries low- and middle-income countries, where air quality may worsen and also in high-income countries where pollution levels have declined over the past few decades.
Dust, vehicle smoke or even fine powder from open burning is a health hazard. Individuals most affected by this air pollution are those with respiratory system-related health problems, especially asthma patients. In addition to asthma patients, those with skin allergies and shortness of breath also experience more serious attacks.
Ongoing pollution has a detrimental effect on all, especially at-risk groups such as children under the age of 14 years, pregnant women, senior citizens, patients with bronchitis, chronic pneumonia, heart conditions and allergies and those who need to be outside because of their work.
Asthma patients find it difficult to breathe with itching in the throat and accompanied by a cough. People often experience difficulty in breathing and complaining of chest pains. The eyes can soon become dry and irritated and the nose becomes itchy as it inhales the dusty particles.