Saturday, July 27, 2013

Ready? Steady? No! - Survey results indicate 80% of respondents ill-prepared for June 2013 haze

Despite repeated occurrences of the haze, eight out of 10 respondents to the Haze Survey indicated that their homes were ill-prepared to weather poor air quality by being stocked with masks and/or air purifiers.

The Haze Survey also revealed strong demand for better air quality readings from Singapore's National Environment Agency (NEA). Nine out of 10 respondents said the NEA should provide spot/realtime Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) readings that indicate air quality.

A related question on the credibility of PSI readouts showed that 45% of respondents strongly agreed that they felt their health was at risk when the 3-hour PSI readings did not correspond with the situation they observed outside their window. When tallied with those who said they agree they felt their health at risk, the combined figure shot up to 72% of respondents.

About half the survey participants said they wore an N95 respirator in public during the haze while a noticeably higher percentage (65%) said they carried an N95 respirator while outdoors at some point during the haze crisis. This reveals the level of preparedness among respondents as they took proactive steps to protect their health by having N95 respirators while outdoors.

The statistic makes an interesting contrast to the 81% of respondents who said their homes were not haze ready when smoke from forest and plantation fires in Sumatra engulfed Singapore this June.

In all, 134 netizens from unique IP addresses responded to the poll.

The survey results show the urgency of a rethink of how NEA presents its PSI figures. Slavish adherence to current business practice would likely result in another erosion of public confidence if when air pollution measurements shoot to Hazardous PSI levels like those registered in June 2013.

Many thanks to everyone who took part. Your feedback matters. Full results are presented below.


Anonymous said...

Not surprised at all. We are over-reliant and complacent.

Anonymous said...

At the end of the day, you can't please everyone. The minister thought long and hard about releasing the 3 hour PSI readings. If you are so unsatisfied, why don't you participate to make things better or leave for greener pastures?

Anonymous said...

Typical "why don't you be constructive or leave" retort from pro-establishment lackeys.

Anonymous said...

frankly, what is the difference between spot and 3 hour psi reading?

if 3 hour psi is the average of 3 hour data, would spot reading led to psi figure of 72000 if we multiplied by hour from a 1 minute reading, or become 50 if we don't multiply by 24hour? or will the govt have to add soy sauce, ketchup and chilli sauce to make the reading more "reasonable" but well out of international standard and methodology??

frankly, unless we are psi expert, isit right for us to demand what is right?

its like I see a doctor, but I tell the doctor what medicine I should be given even when I only know how to repair lightbulbs... is that in my best health interest?

Anonymous said...

What crap talk you imbecile! Outside temperature 35deg you want to wait for 3-hr 24-hr average? Flood water rise overflow, no cause for alarm cause 3-hr or 24hr average still ok? Please leh, grow some brains, don't pretend to be expert talk cock can?

Anonymous said...

Why is it that every discussion online these days degenerates into an us vs them, anti gov vs pro gov slinging match. Can't we just debate like intelligent people?

And what's with every gov-leaning statement immediately followed by a backlash and accusations of being a 'pappy', or a gov 'lackey'? Come on people... :/

Anonymous said...

To be fair to NEA, EPA reference and equivalent methods for PM2.5 is by default giving a 24-h average reading. A reference method is the standard method and an equivalent method is just as equivalent.Generally, reference and equivalent methods are all using 24-h sampling. There are of course scientific reasons and studies done to justify a 24-h sampling. If you are really interested, you can ask the PM2.5 instrument manufacturers or look in scientific journals.

Anonymous said...

Actually, NEA uses the PM10 standard for the released PSI figures.

It does not evaluate air quality based on small particles which are more dangerous, which are evaluated under the PM2.5 standard.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous July 28, 2013 at 11:50 PM

This is the state of affairs because several government policies are enacted despite a majority or a significant proportion of native Singaporeans registering their disapproval.

The key is that the political dimension may not be partisan- because these citizens need not be opposition supporters at all. They may disagree with the PAP on select issues. Or they may vote for the opposition because the ballot box is the only way to register their feedback. A true picture is unavailable because non-PAP parties are marginalized in the electoral system as shown by the PAP's popular vote (60%) and seats in Parliament (93%) and alternative views cannot enter the decision making process. Even within the PAP, power is centralized at the pinnacle and away from its MPs and even the less privileged echelons of the cabinet.

Therefore, what would otherwise be purely technical issues take on a political dimension because of the absence of political participation.

Anonymous said...

PSI readings are based on PM10 and it is true that PM2.5 is a subset by virtual of the method of measurement and definition.

24-h average PM2.5 is available from NEA as well. If PM2.5 is measured as a 24-h average, then how is it possible to provide a PSI reading of less than 24-h interval if PM2.5 is included ?

Anonymous said...

Sorry for a bit of misrepresentation above. PSI readings are not sorely based on PM10 but in a rough sense, the highest or most significant of all the pollutants measured is being used as the PSI value.