Visibility and Incidence of Respiratory Diseases During the 1998 Haze Episode in Brunei Darussalam
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— Air pollution episodes as a result of forest fires in Brunei Darussalam and neighbouring regions have reached hazardous levels in recent years. Such episodes are generally associated with poor visibility and air quality conditions. In the present study, data on PM10 (particulate matter of size less than 10 microns) and CO in Brunei Darussalam have been considered to study the incidence of respiratory diseases whereas data on relative humidity (RH) in addition to PM10 have been used to explain the visibility with a particular emphasis on haze episode during 1998.¶Initial exploratory analysis indicates significant correlation of visibility with PM10 and RH. An attempt has been made to explain visibility on the basis of PM10 and RH using multiple linear regression analysis. The regression model shows that PM10 and RH are two significant factors affecting the visibility at a given site. Further, canonical correlation, a multivariate method of analysis, has been used to explain the incidence of respiratory diseases as a function of air quality during the haze period. The results indicate that PM10 and CO levels during the haze period have a significant bearing on the incidence of respiratory diseases (Asthma, Acute Respiratory Infections and Influenza (ARII)).
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