There is an increasing incidence of respiratory ailments during the past two weeks.
Dr. Ria Maslog, a city based pediatrician told the Chronicle that what is quite alarming is that 80% of her patients’ ailments developed into pnuemonia which she could attribute to the reported haze reaching Bohol and Cebu area caused by the forest fires in Indonesia.
While she has no scientific basis, Dr. Maslog said it could “most likely” be the reason behind the increasing cases of coughs and colds triggered by the air inhaled.
The haze scare attributed to the forest fires in Indonesia have been trending in social media after the the Cebu-based Environmental Management Bureau Region 7 (EMB-7) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) issued an advisory on the precautionary measures.
EMB-7 issued its first haze advisory on September 18 where it warned the public about the “unhealthy air quality”.
This was after reports about “haze from Indonesian forest fires pushed air pollution beyond healthy levels during peak hours”.
The EMB-7 explained that the overall daily average air quality remains within the safe levels but “the threshold of 50 micrograms per normal cubic meter is breached during the peak hours”.
“This means the air is already unsafe for humans to breathe,” according to EMB-7.
On September 20, EMB-7disseminated its second advisory to the public through the media.
This is at the height of reports about the haze from forest fires in Indonesia having reached Cebu.
In the advisory, the EMB-7 recommends that the people should “use protective masks to guard against inhaling fine pollutants during peak hours.
The EMB-7 explained that it is during the peak hours- -between 5 am to 10 am, and between 4 pm to 9 pm- -that air pollution is at unhealthy levels.
The EMB-7 issued the advisory “based on the latest results for particulate matter from its Talisay City station in Metro Cebu”.
The results show “barely within healthy levels at 43.71 micrograms per normal cubic meter” when “the maximum limit is 50”.