Air Pollution is “Worse than You Think’

Air Pollution is “Worse than You Think’

We all know that burning sensation: acrid smog stings the eyes and irritates the throat. During the periodic haze from burning forests in Sumatra that envelopes much of Malaysia for days and weeks at a time, millions of Malaysians are exposed to massive amounts of harmful air-borne pollutants. Yet not…

Slash-and-Burn Agriculture must Stop

Slash-and-Burn Agriculture must Stop

Malaysia has been losing much of its peatlands and their ongoing loss bodes ill for the country’s environment. Peat swamps are home to a great deal of biodiversity with a fascinating kaleidoscope of species. They also absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide. In fact, peat swamps in Malaysia may store…

India ‘will Sell’ only Electric Cars

India ‘will Sell’ only Electric Cars

India is known for many things, but a commitment to environmentalism tends not to be among them. The country has some of the world’s most polluted cities, wildlife crime remains rampant in the land, and natural habitats around the subcontinent have been shrinking alarmingly. Then again, some things are changing…

We were Polluting the Air long before We even Knew It

We were Polluting the Air long before We even Knew It

In centuries past, people lived in harmony with nature. They led sustainable lifestyles and kept environmental pollution to a minimum. Then came the Industrial Revolution in the 17th century and everything changed: we began polluting the environment disastrously and carry on doing so. So goes a common narrative about our…

Air Pollution can be a Power Source

Air pollution is everywhere there is air these days. Like other forms of pollution, air pollution is pervasive and getting increasingly worse. But what if you could put it to good use? What if we could turn at least some of it into a source of power? Belgian scientists have done…

Here comes Asia’s first ‘Vertical Forest’

Here comes Asia’s first ‘Vertical Forest’

If the city of Nanjing is known for anything, it’s definitely not a clean and green environment. In the capital of China’s eastern Jiangsu province, air quality hovers at dangerously high levels all year round. At times it’s not uncommon for air pollution to get so bad that the sky turns pink…

Pollution can be Deadly to Children

Pollution can be Deadly to Children

Pollution kills. Literally. Worse, it routinely kills the most vulnerable: children, the inform, the elderly. Young children are especially at risk of severe health hazards from pollution, with almost two million of them dying as a result each year. Pause to think about that: millions of young lives lost because…

There ‘won’t be’ a Haze this Year

There ‘won’t be’ a Haze this Year

The annual transboundary haze that has long been a scourge on the lives and environment of Malaysians will not materialize this year. Or even if it does, I won’t be too bad. Certainly not like in 2015, when the Air Pollution Index (API) reached a level of more than 200, or “very unhealthy,” around parts of…

Air Pollution can cause Preterm Births

Air Pollution can cause Preterm Births

Air pollution debilitates and kills. It may cause Alzheimer’s disease. It may increase the risk of obesity. And it may make us perform worse at work. Now here is another adverse health effect that air pollution may cause: premature births. According to a new scientific study conducted by The Stockholm Environment Institute…

Harsher Penalties for Open Burning

Harsher Penalties for Open Burning

And here it comes – trans-boundary haze from Indonesia, that is. Every summer, regular as clockwork, forest and peat fires set in Indonesia for clearing land waft over the border with Malaysia to cover much of the countHry in noxious fumes for days and weeks at a time. The haze…

Air Pollution ‘Increases Risk of Obesity’

Air Pollution ‘Increases Risk of Obesity’

The twin evils of sedentary urban lifestyles are obesity and pollution, and for many people exposure to pollution and a risk of obesity both start in childhood. But here’s the kicker: being exposed to high levels of pollution boosts children’s chances of developing obesity with its attendant cardiovascular and metabolic…

Haze in Malaysia 2015: Same Old Script, New Solutions

Haze in Malaysia 2015: Same Old Script, New Solutions

This article is an exclusive contribution from Eliani Ezani.  Eliani holds a Master of Science degree in Environmental Health and is conducting research on airborne pollution for a PhD in Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK.  Originally from Malaysia, Eliani combines her personal experience with…

Solution for Air Pollution in Malaysia Finally Aided by Indonesia

Solution for Air Pollution in Malaysia Finally Aided by Indonesia

Less than a year ago, Indonesia finally ratified the ASEAN Agreement on Tranboundary Haze Pollution. Malaysia can now hold Indonesia accountable to reduce the amount of air pollution it unintentionally exports to Malaysia. Though transboundary air pollution is common in Southeast Asia, the relationship between Malaysia and Indonesia has been…