Residents in Yishun & Punggol complain of urine-like smell, likely from Johor

The air has been smelling a little more than funky.

Guan Zhen Tan | March 20, 2019, 02:22 AM

Mmm, pee pee

Yishunites and Punggolians have been sniffing out something awful in the air lately.

Residents from both estates have been complaining that the smell is similar to that of urine.

According to Shin Min Daily News on March 15, some residents in Punggol have reportedly experienced giddiness and nausea after being exposed to "The Smell".

Stench noted, thank you

Previously, Nee Soon GRC MP Lee Bee Wah took to Facebook on March 13 to address the issue, noting that some residents have complained of the stench.

After checking with the National Environment Agency, she was informed that the scent was likely from Johor, and that Singapore authorities are in close contact with the Malaysian authorities regarding the matter.

Hot spots in Johor

On March 6, the NEA reported that residents in Yishun and Punggol may experience a hazy smell due to the presence of three hot spots in southern Johor.

This is caused by slash and burn farming, which involves clearing land with fire for oil palm plantations.

This is then further aggravated by prevailing wind directions, which carry the smell and the smoke over to Singapore.

Burning rubbish to get rid of pests

Earlier in February, landfill fires were also reported in Johor.

They were understood to have been started in an attempt to eliminate pests -- or so the reasoning goes.

Similarly, the unpleasant smell got carried by the prevailing wind, and ended up inconveniencing Singaporeans with its foul, acrid stench.

It was also reported that Singapore's air quality remains at a safe level, even though there have been some concerns that the smell is coming from the chemical spill incident at Sungai Kim Kim in Pasir Gudang, Johor.

Chemical dumping into river incident

Toxic fumes have been emanating from chemicals that have been illegally dumped into the Sungai Kim Kim river in Pasir Gudang, causing a huge number of people seeking medical attention.

Some 3,500 people have said to been affected thus far.

Singapore not affected

But the incident has not affected Singapore yet, as NEA has not detected any elevated levels of certain harmful substances and gases such as benzene or other Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) at our air monitoring stations.

As the affected area is outside of the Johor River catchment, there is no impact on Singapore’s water supply.

It is understood that a clean-up operation by the Malaysian authorities is in progress.

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