Haze may seem to be an ordinary word, but it in fact, it is a phenomenon affecting human settlements. 2015 reported continuous haze incidents all over the world. At the start of summer, multiple incidents of haze were reported in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. From North America, all the way to Europe up to Siberia, numerous forests, grasslands, and human settlements were affected by Haze. And now, media reporters are diverting their attention to Southeast Asia because Indonesian forests were blamed for the growing haze across the region. 

When you happen to be in a community where there is an ongoing haze, you will automatically feel uncomfortable with the environment. This is because the presence of haze is responsible for causing your health to become at risk for developing diseases. Allergic reaction is one of the most common consequence whenever you will experience a negative reaction associated with the presence of haze in the area where you are located. For this reason, haze is one of the most threatening environmental phenomenon that you should avoid. Many people have already suffered due to the consequences of excessive smoke and fumes in their community. 
A man-made fire that emits smoke in the forest
A simple forest fire can easily cause haze
What is Haze? Haze is a phenomenon wherein an aerosol blanket, made up of dust, smoke, sand, cloud, and other man-made pollutants can change the air quality of the atmosphere. When this phenomenon occurs, it usually appear bluish, brownish, grayish or dark gray where it usually occurs in areas where there is a continuous fire. Human settlements in the area are often being advised to move away from haze covered areas to prevent health risks or any threats that could cause loss of lives. Haze may last between one week to months and can travel hundreds or even thousands of miles if the condition is considered severe. 

What are the causes of Haze? Industrial pollution is the main cause of haze because commercial industries are known to emit thick fumes that integrate with the atmosphere. Numerous factories installed in highly urbanized areas are responsible for releasing toxic substances up in the air that causes haze. It affects the air quality of thriving communities in both urban and rural areas that risk the respiratory systems of residents who are exposed to thick fumes. 

Forest fires in remote areas where vegetation sparks thick fumes can blanket nearby villages or urban areas. There are two types of forest fires. Natural forest fires are caused by lightning that ignites a fire that can easily spread over the dry areas of the forest. On the other hand, artificial forest fires are caused by farmers or any individual in the area to burn crops that will not provide any value to their lives. Haze takes a long time before it will return your environment into a normal state. This is due to the amount of particles suspended in the atmosphere that needs a natural blow of air to be disintegrated away from the environment that will diminish the smoke.

How to protect ourselves from Haze?

1. Wear face mask: Our respiratory system is the first part of our body that will be affected by the polluted substances made by haze. It is because human needs oxygen filled air in order to survive. It is advised that wearing facemask should be always done whenever going outdoors. Covering our nose and mouth with a face mask that is made up of thick filters will prevent toxic particles from the air from being inhaled, preventing respiratory complications to the body. 

2. Stay indoors: The simplest way to keep yourself from harmful effects of having an unhealthy environment. Staying indoors are the best to prevent inhaling harmful substances from the atmosphere whenever it blankets our community. Our home is an area that locks harmful particles from the outside from entering the structure. Even if winds are blowing through your home while haze is visible in the atmosphere, being exposed to  harmful fumes will less likely to cause any respiratory distress. 

3. Immune booster supplements: Taking supplements that improves your resistance to your health aims to protect you from acquiring from airborne related diseases. The reason behind is that boosting your immune system aims to fight against health threats that might cause serious damage to your body. Examples of these supplements are vitamin C, multivitamins, and minerals, and phytonutrients that provide extra protection to your body by nourishing white blood cells to fight harmful pathogens that might harm cells, tissues, and organs. 

4. Move to a safer location: If you are tired protecting yourself from a polluted environment, its time for you to temporarily move out and go to a place where the air is clear. Try visiting your relatives or friends who live in other cities or towns. Or booking a vacation trip to a resort, far away from where you are that can help you to escape from an unsafe environment for a short-term period. When you return back to your home, you might be observing an air quality that is better to prevent bothering your health once again. 

5. Petition for cloud seeding operations: As a concerned citizen, starting a public petition in order to request the local government to conduct cloud seeding operations can be a serious solution to lessen the impacts of air pollution. Cloud seeding operations is a procedure when the pilots release chemical substances that cause the atmosphere to engage in the formation of clouds to produce precipitation process. When moisture develops, it absorbed harmful chemicals that make the sky to improve its air quality after a certain downpour. 

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