Southeast Asia struggles to tackle haze despite long-term dangers

A toxic smog settled over Malaysia and Singapore for most of September fuelled by fires that had been raging in neighbouring Indonesia for weeks.

Schools were forced to close, N95 masks to filter the polluted air’s most dangerous particulates were rationed, and doctors reported a surge in patients with respiratory illnesses and eye infections.

But it was not the first time it had happened. Not even the second, or the third.

The haze, as it is commonly known, has been blanketing the region on an almost annual basis since 1997.

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Kate Mayberry