PHA to public: Heed DOH call for wearing of mask, staying indoors to avoid ill effects of haze

October 28, 2015 5:45 am 

By Leilani S. Junio

MANILA, Oct. 27 (PNA)–The Philippine Heart Association (PHA) called on the public in areas affected by “haze” to heed the Department of Health's (DOH) call to wear masks especially if their activities require them to stay outdoors and if possible just stay indoors.

“It must be understood that wearing of mask is not an act of “kaartehan” (for vanity sake and sophistication) but rather as a preventive step against inhaling very small particulate matters that can harm lungs which may lead to heart failure,” said PHA treasurer and cardiologist Dr. Helen Ong-Garcia in an interview with the Philippines News Agency.

Dr. Garcia said that inhalation of haze was harmful in the sense that there were so many chemicals that could penetrate the deeper parts of the lungs.

Garcia, who is also a cardiologist, said that very long exposure to haze could eventually affect lung’s ability to supply oxygen to the heart.

The cardiologist added that such long exposure to haze could cause the lungs to become inefficient, and eventually “failed” similar to what happens to a person smoking for a long time.

“In the long-run, this inefficiency of the lungs to produce oxygen may cause the heart to work double that can lead to heart failure,” she added.

She also said staying indoors was one way of being protected because staying inside the room and house could prevent the people from inhaling the very small particulate matters of haze.

The very small PM of haze measures 2.5 micrometer in diameter which is visible only via electron microscope.

The DOH had earlier advised the very young and old to wear mask (N-95 mask) as a protection against haze in the affected areas and staying indoors so that they could avoid inhaling the very tiny particulate matters brought by haze which was carried in the country from the forest fire in Indonesia through the typhoon “Lando” on Oct. 18.

The DOH assured that it will be supplying the CARAGA regions with N-95 masks that were procured and prepositioned for the handling and management of infectious diseases.

The DOH said that such masks quite expensive from the ordinary ones were only available for those who could not afford them like the vulnerable sectors.

Others that can afford them or has the capacity to purchase them may buy over the counter at the pharmacist available or near them.(PNA)

RMA/LSJ

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