PETALING JAYA – The prolonged hot weather and deteriorating air quality are driving up the sales of face masks and Chinese herbal tea.
Pharmacy staff Yuvan Raajj Samanthan said he noticed there are more customers buying face masks in recent days as the air quality in the Klang Valley deteriorates.
“Sales of facial masks have gone up in the past few days. Customers usually buy a big box for the whole family. Disposable face masks are the most popular ones,” he said when met at a pharmacy in Puchong.
He said some customers complained that sometimes they can smell smoke at home.
Besides drinking more water to stay hydrated during this hot weather, pharmacist Ng Yuh Choo said supplements such as probiotics, Astragalus, Tiger’s Milk mushroom, Cordyceps and Vitamin C are among the popular products for consumers who wish to strengthen their respiratory and immune systems.
Catherine Wong, a staff at a Chinese medicine store, said there are more customers, mainly homemakers and working mothers, buying herbal tea ingredients.
She said herbal tea can help to “cool” and soothe the body.
“Herbal tea with chrysanthemum, Buddha fruit (luo han guo) and Prunella vulgaris (xia ku cao) are the popular ones. Customers can choose to buy the pre-packed ingredients and make herbal tea at home. They can also buy from us,” she said, adding that the shop also sells bottled herbal tea.
Meanwhile, some parents have to change plans due to the haze and hot weather.
Bank staff Lai Yuen Yee said her five-year-old daughter felt disappointed as she was not allowed to play outdoors due to the haze.
“She keeps asking why cannot go out, why is there smoke, why so smelly, why is there burning? It is difficult to explain to her,” the mother of two said.
Her daughter, Clarisse, usually goes to the playground in the condominium they stay every evening.
“But sometimes we can even detect the burnt smell in our unit. How can we let her go outdoors and play?” she said.
Lai said she will let her child drink more water and eat more fruits.
Account clerk Chan Yen Yein said she is bringing her son, Joel, to Kuala Lumpur during his school holidays but unfortunately they can only spend time indoors.
Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) director-general Datuk Alui Bahari reportedly said the hot weather is due to a lack of cloud cover and low rainfall during the end of the north-east monsoon.
He said such extreme temperatures were usual during the end of the north-east monsoon period, adding that the heatwave is expected to subside next month with more rainfall.
Earlier, MetMalaysia has put a district in Kedah on Level 2 heatwave alert while 23 districts in seven states and one federal territory in the peninsula are on Level 1 after temperatures increased.
Many places in peninsula saw their temperatures soar to between 35°C and 40°C.
Meanwhile, the air quality yesterday has improved.
Based on the latest readings from the website of the Department of Environment, as at 5pm yesterday, no area in Malaysia recorded unhealthy Air Pollutant Index readings.