Do you need a mask during the Haze?
N95 masks are recommended for individuals who undertake prolonged and strenuous work outdoors when air quality is in the hazardous range ( PSI>300) N95 masks are also recommended for individuals who are outdoors when air quality is in the hazardous range
N95 masks are not needed for short exposure, like commuting from home to school or work, travel from bus-stop to shopping mall.
N95 masks are also not needed in an indoor environment.
What kind of mask you need to buy?
According to FDA, the ‘N95’ designation means that when subjected to careful testing, the respirator blocks at least 95% of very small (0.3 micron) test particles. Normal facemask is a loose-fitting, disposable device that creates a physical barrier between the mouth and nose of the wearer and potential contaminants in the immediate environment. If worn properly, a facemask is meant to help block large-particle droplets, splashes, sprays or splatter that may contain germs (viruses and bacteria), keeping it from reaching your mouth and nose. Facemasks may also help reduce exposure of your saliva and respiratory secretions to others.
There are other grade of mask or respirator, according to NIOSH there are ten classes of NIOSH-approved particulate filtering respirators available at this time. 95% is the minimal level of filtration approved by NIOSH. The N, R and P designations refer to the filter's oil resistance as described in the table below.
Therefore N95 respirator is good enough to filter out 95% of airborne particles.
There are several sources where you can buy N95 masks
Lazada is selling 3M N95 8210 Disposable Particulate Respirator 20pcs for SGD35.00 with S$0.5 shipping
Rakuten is selling Gerson N95 Mask (20/Box) for 16.8, while 240/box for 171.36
If you can wait, or buy the time when you see this article, all masks in Singapore sold out, you may consider buy N95 mask from Amazon
Amazon is selling 3M 8511 Particulate N95 Respirator with Valve, 10-Pack with FREE Shipping to Singapore on orders over $125.00 for US$13.20.
If you are a good boss buying masks for you employee, or you want to make some extra $$$, you may consider buy the 2800 pcs/box for US$3595.00
If you are a super kiasu & kiasi Singaporean, N95 may not be your choice, you should consider HE grade respirator
Or at least P100 Respirator
If you prefer buy offline, Gurdian and super market should have some stock
If you really really can not find mask, get inspired by this Taiwan aunty during the SARS
For those who planning to get a air purifier, here is BQ's guide for buying air purifier during haze season