Singapore, Malaysia air

This item appears on page 68 of the August 2013 issue.

In Indonesia each year during the dry months of June-September, farmers illegally burn forests in order to plant crops. Singapore and Malaysia can suffer the resulting pollution.

In Singapore during a few days in late June this year, a record high of 401 was reached on the Air Pollution Index, which measures five known pollutants. (Levels over 100 are considered unhealthy.) In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, a level of 200 was reached.

Low-level winds dispersed most of the haze in Singapore over three days, but the pollution continued in Malaysia, where a state of emergency was declared in two southern districts and more than 200 schools were closed.