What is haze?
Haze is caused by particulate matter from many sources including smoke, road dust, and other particles emitted directly into the atmosphere, as well as particulate matter (PM) formed when gaseous pollutants react in the atmosphere. These particles often grow in size as humidity increases, further impairing visibility. Haze is a major cause of health issues for Southeast Asians. Haze particles can give rise to acute symptoms such as cough, wheezing, shortness of breath and a feeling of tiredness and weakness.
The biggest hazard of the haze is the fine particulate matter suspended in the air. Particulate matter, especially those that are smaller than 2.5 microns (“PM2.5”) can easily be inhaled into our lungs. Haze pollution is primarily a man-made problem, coming from domestic as well as transboundary sources, involving state and non-state actors. Yet, despite the anthropological sources, we think government action has been insufficient to mitigate the causes of transboundary haze. Countries affected by transboundary haze also suffer from massive economic implications. Transboundary haze in the ASEAN region has been traced back as early as the 1970s.
“Climate change and air pollution know no borders, and antibiotics resistance respects no boundaries. Bacteria from Africa can make people in America sick. The burning of Indonesian forests can keep Asia gasping for breath.”
CERAH in the news
Despite experiencing haze pollution for over 30 years, Malaysia still lacks specific laws to address or prevent the problem, according to experts and authorities. A commissioner of the Malaysian Human Rights Commission warned that the issue has worsened in the past 20 years and….
A coalition of environmental activist groups has filed a complaint with Malaysia’s Human Rights Commission (Suhakam), calling for an end to the country’s haze problem. The Cerah Anti-Haze Action Coalition has requested that the commission investigate domestic and transboundary pollution and hold a public inquiry. The group’s statement argued that the right to clean air is a fundamental human right that must be protected.