Haze Advisory for ICCS 2016 Organisers, 31 Aug 2016

International Coastal Cleanup Singapore email to the 85 Organisers of the 25th ICCS 2016: the Haze Advisory for Organisers (31 Aug 2016), advice to monitor Zika outbreak sites through NEA News Releases and a reminder of the SOP – to reiterate to volunteers the Advice for Participants just before the cleanup.

Dear Organisers,

This is an advisory about the haze situation in Singapore in relation to your coastal cleanup event. This is for Organisers without formal organisational guidelines and who require advice about how to respond to the haze.

Note: Use NEA’s 1-hour PM2.5 readings at haze.gov.sg (and not the 24-hour PSI)

  • No completely accurate forecast values are available but a daily forecast is provided at http://www.haze.gov.sg
  • NEA’s 1-hour PM2.5 readings are the best indication of ground conditions for short-term activity such as a coastal cleanup of between 60 – 90 mins
  • NEA’s 1-hour PM2.5 readings are available at on the myENV app and at their webpage here

Here are our suggested guidelines using the 1-hour PM2.5 values for coastal cleanups: 

  • If 1-hour PM2.5 values are more than 55.5µg/m3 (Band II Elevated), sensitive people should properly wear their N95 mask
  • If 1-hour PM2.5 values are between 100 µg/m3 – 150 µg/m3 (upper region of Band II Elevated), everyone should properly wear an N95 mask 
  • If 1-hour PM2.5 values are more than 150µg/m3 (Band III Very High), call off the cleanup and inform your Zone Captain

Safety is the priority; Organisers decide about cancelling their cleanups as needed

  • Safety is the priority of any coastal cleanup exercise. 
  • The Organiser will call off their coastal cleanup at any point they feel they need to, even if pollution readings are not high
  • When in doubt, err on the side of safety to protect participants from both immediate and long-term effects. 
  • Please inform your Zone Captain about your cancellation so we may advise NEA about cancelling trash pickup.

Precautions for individuals with potential respiratory problems

  • Some individuals may have potential respiratory problems – Organisers must ask participants to declare their condition before their cleanup.
  • Assign such individuals data recording duty to avoid over exertion as a precaution against sudden changes in haze conditions.
  • Such individuals should, as always, bring their prescribed inhalers/personal medication with them.
  • Remind all participants to alert their Organiser about any feeling of discomfort they may be experiencing at any time.

Responsibilities of cleanup participants

Bring your mask and water

  • 1. All cleanup participants must bring their own N95 mask and to be familiar with its use; refer to the proper use of an N95 mask:
    • Six steps to wearing the N95 mask (MOH): link
    • Use of masks and availability of masks (MOH): link
  • 2. Wear your mask at anytime you feel it is necessary to do so, even if 1-hour PSI levels are not high.
  • 3. All participants must bring their own supply of water to hydrate well and frequently throughout the cleanup.

Alert your Organiser and take precautions

  • 4. Participants must advise their Organisers if they are feeling unwell or experiencing discomfort at any time; e.g. experiencing irritation of the skin or eyes, or of their nasal passages or throat. 
  • 5. Anyone who feels any discomfort should wash their face, wear their N95 mask and leave the site for a filtered air environment immediately.

Do not exert yourself

  • 6. Do not exert yourself when picking up and categorising trash to avoid strenuous work. 
  • 7. Large trash items such as barrels and tyres can be recorded without removal and may be left on the shore for removal another time.

— end —

N. Sivasothi
Coordinator, International Coastal Cleanup Singapore
c/o Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum
& Department of Biological Sciences
National University of Singapore

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