S’pore Haze Index Crosses ‘Unhealthy’ Levels, But NEA Says We Don’t Need N95 Masks Yet

N95 Masks Only Necessary When PSI Reading Hits 300 & Above

Last Saturday, the PSI level in West Singapore exceeded 100, marking the first time that it entered the ‘Unhealthy’ range since Aug 2016.

Bishan shrouded in haze on 18 Sep 

Things got slightly better over the next few days, thanks to favourable wind conditions. But the haze condition soon took a turn for the worse.

On Wednesday (18 Sep) morning, PSI levels across Singapore crossed the unhealthy mark again.

Here are the PSI readings as of 11am:


From the looks of things, South Singapore is the most adversely affected region.

Are N95 masks necessary?

Over the years, the N95 mask has become everyone’s go-to protective gear whenever the haze strikes hard. But does it mean it’s time to stock up them, now that the haze has returned?


Well, the answer’s no, at least according to the National Environmental Agency (NEA).

According to one spokesperson, the N95 is only necessary when the air quality is ‘Hazardous’, which happens when the PSI reading is above 300.

For now, this means that it’s not necessary to wear N95 masks if you spend most of your time indoors. Same applies if you’ll only be outdoors for a short period of time, like commuting between work or school, and home.

There are, however, exceptions.

Elderly, pregnant woman and those with respiratory and cardiac issues participating in outdoor activities should use the N95 masks to reduce their exposure to the airborne contaminants.

Hope air quality will improve soon

So perhaps there’s actually no need rush to your nearest pharmacy and to stock up on N95 masks.

However, if you have an inkling that the haze condition might deteriorate over the next few days or weeks, there’s no harm in getting a few pieces for yourself and your loved ones.

Regardless, we hope the air quality will improve soon, so all of us can resume our daily activities normally.

Featured image adapted from SAYS.  

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