The haze has many effects; Cough, shortness of breath, itchy throat, disappearing masks and this blog post. We even have Agung Laksono, the minister who is coordinating Indonesia’s response to the haze crisis saying “Singapore should not be behaving like a child and making all this noise.” Hmm. It set me wondering whether we are justified to be “making all this noise”.
First, on the most selfish personal basis; how does the haze affects each and everyone within the zone of haze? Let’s focus on the PM2.5 particles. The 4pm reading for 24hr PM2.5 on 20th Jun is between 247-304 µg/m³. While the WHO last revised values for PM2.5 in 2005 are:
-10 µg/m³ for the annual average
-25 µg/m³ for the 24-hour mean (not to be exceeded for more than 3 days/year) 
What!? We are experiencing particles that far exceeded the limits. Why would the WHO set such a standard? Is there any evidence that the PM2.5 causes health damage?
“Health effect caused by short-term exposure to fine particles (PM2.5), which is based on a daily standard, include:
-Premature death, especially death related to heart and lung diseases
-Increased hospital admissions and emergency department visits for cardiovascular effects, such as non-fatal heart attacks and strokes.
Short-term PM2.5 exposures also are linked to increased hospital admissions and emergency department visits for respiratory effects, such as asthma attacks, as well as increased respiratory symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. In addition, short-term PM2.5 exposures are linked to reduced lung function, especially in children and people with lung diseases, such as asthma.” 
In addition, “Because of the tiny size of the ultrafine particles (UFP) [aka PM0.1], these can penetrate the lung epithelium and enter the bloodstream. From there, particles can be transferred to liver, bone marrow, brain and heart, leading to a systematic infection.” 
Let me upgrade my medical insurance before continuing the post…
 Indonesia Says Singapore Behaving Like a Child over Haze. http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/indonesia-says-singapore-behaving-like-a-child-over-haze/
 Health Effects of Particulate Matters (Final, English). http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/189051/Health-effects-of-particulate-matter-final-Eng.pdf
 The National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particle Pollution. http://www.epa.gov/pm/2012/fshealth.pdf
 M.M. Politis, C. Pilinis and T.D. Lekkas, Ultrafine Particles (UFP) and Health Effects Dangerous. Like No Other PM? Review and Analysis, Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Environmental Science and Technology, Kos Island, 5-7 September 2007. http://www.gnest.org/journal/Vol10_No3/439-452_579_POLITIS_10-3.pdf
For those interested to read more:
Environment: Newly found health effects of air pollution call for stronger EU air policies. http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-13-72_en.htm