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Open AccessReview

Acute Health Impacts of the Southeast Asian Transboundary Haze Problem—A Review

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Science and Math Cluster, Singapore University of Technology and Design, Singapore 487372, Singapore
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Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, National University Health System, Singapore 119074, Singapore
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School of Public Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
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Department of Emergency Medicine, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore 169608, Singapore
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Health Services & Systems Research, Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore 169857, Singapore
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SingHealth Duke-NUS Emergency Medicine Academic Clinical Programme, Singapore 169857, Singapore
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National Heart Research Institute Singapore, National Heart Centre, Singapore 169609, Singapore
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Cardiovascular & Metabolic Disorders Programme, Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore 169857, Singapore
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(18), 3286; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16183286
Received: 20 August 2019 / Accepted: 29 August 2019 / Published: 6 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
Air pollution has emerged as one of the world’s largest environmental health threats, with various studies demonstrating associations between exposure to air pollution and respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Regional air quality in Southeast Asia has been seasonally affected by the transboundary haze problem, which has often been the result of forest fires from “slash-and-burn” farming methods. In light of growing public health concerns, recent studies have begun to examine the health effects of this seasonal haze problem in Southeast Asia. This review paper aims to synthesize current research efforts on the impact of the Southeast Asian transboundary haze on acute aspects of public health. Existing studies conducted in countries affected by transboundary haze indicate consistent links between haze exposure and acute psychological, respiratory, cardiovascular, and neurological morbidity and mortality. Future prospective and longitudinal studies are warranted to quantify the long-term health effects of recurrent, but intermittent, exposure to high levels of seasonal haze. The mechanism, toxicology and pathophysiology by which these toxic particles contribute to disease and mortality should be further investigated. Epidemiological studies on the disease burden and socioeconomic cost of haze exposure would also be useful to guide policy-making and international strategy in minimizing the impact of seasonal haze in Southeast Asia. View Full-Text
Keywords: Big data; data analytics; transboundary; haze; air pollution; fire; healthcare; environmental epidemiology; public health Big data; data analytics; transboundary; haze; air pollution; fire; healthcare; environmental epidemiology; public health
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Cheong, K.H.; Ngiam, N.J.; Morgan, G.G.; Pek, P.P.; Tan, B. .-Q.; Lai, J.W.; Koh, J.M.; Ong, M.E.H.; Ho, A.F.W. Acute Health Impacts of the Southeast Asian Transboundary Haze Problem—A Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 3286.

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