The Singapore air quality ranking map is separated into 5 areas:
Orchard, Lower Newton, Middle Newton, Upper Newton and Novena. Regarding Newton, there is so no such area as upper, middle and lower. I made them up for the purpose of the map! But the separation of the area makes sense for this study.
Orchard had the highest levels of air pollution on average across all 3 walks:
NO2 = 0.45 AQI
VOC = 9.97 AQI
PM 2.5 = 23.23 AQI
PM 10 = 45.73 AQI
The levels that registered at the McDonald's in Orchard road were very high, peaking at 121 AQI for PM 10 for a single, transient, 1-minute measurement. Studies to identify air quality in fast-food joints would be really interesting.
You'll see the NO2 levels are 3-times that of Orchard but still incredibly low. 0-20 AQI poses no threat to human health. I can think of 2 reasons behind the readings:
1. Singapore's legislation means all cars are very new. From walking the streets, I see very few cars that are older than 3 years! As such, they'll be much more fuel-efficient and cleaner-burning. NO2 is just linked to traffic, so that could be the reason for the low readings.
2. The data is inaccurate. If you watch my GoPro footage of the walk, you'll notice significant amounts of traffic at points, and I'm standing 1-2 feet away.
I spent the least amount of time in this area whilst walking: for only 5 minutes. But in the event of haze/large pollution episodes, you could wear a mask. Especially if you have, say, for example, asthma.
They filter, so they are a pretty good control. They do filter out 95% of particles capable of being inhaled via your nose and mouth.
Thankfully for myself, I'm 25 years old and healthy. If you're immunocompromised, elderly and someone who's likely to be badly affected by air pollution and haze, check out this infographic. It gives details for the AQI (air qiality index)score and when to stay indoors.
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