Transboundary haze pollution: Let us get serious with effective public policy and implementation

Indoor Air Cartoon Journal, September 2019, Volume 2, #76

Transboundary haze pollution is a major annual problem over the decades in Southeast Asian countries. The haze pollution is usually caused by forest burning in Indonesia and sometimes in Malaysia. Haze pollution, usually caused by forest burning, causes death and serious adverse health effects, especially among the children, elderly, and people with a history of respiratory problems. Socio-economic activities are usually affected when haze pollution reached an unhealthy level. The disruption to schools and work activities are not new in the region. Haze pollution episode causes exposure to fine and ultrafine particles. Evidence suggests the make-up of these particles could include carbonaceous materials, trace metals, organic compounds, carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), vanadium dioxide (V2O5), sulfates, ozone, etc.

Efforts had been made by ASEAN leaders to develop policies that could help to solve the problem. However, the problem still persists. Any efforts made on policy creation to solve the problem will continue to fail if the root-cause of forest burning activities is not addressed. Potential root-cause could be corruption and poverty. If that is the case, no policy will work if they are not addressed. The question of how the root-cause of transboundary haze pollution can be identified and eliminated or reduced can only be answered adequately through well-designed research efforts.

76. Haze_76

Do you want to know more about this topic, read Kunil et al. (2002) and Salinas et al. (2013) papers.

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