The Singapore haze, a thick smog caused by crop burning in Indonesia which has local residents up in arms over the damaging impact on human health in recent days, has reached a record hazardous level on Friday.
The National Environment Agency's three-hour Pollutant Standard Index (PSI) reading hit a record 400 at 11 a.m. on Friday, after gradually building throughout the day from a reading of 96 at 5 a.m. in the morning.
The level is well above the unhealthy threshold of 100 and tops levels around 226 seen during Southeast Asia's prolonged haze crisis in 1997-1998.
The haze in the city state is an annual weather phenomenon caused by Indonesian crop burning and normally arrives around August to September, but this year it has come early and is much worse than normal.
The deterioration in air quality follows a warning from Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday that the hazardous haze could last for weeks.
The Ministry of Health this week advised Singaporeans to limit prolonged or heavy outdoor activities as a result of the haze.
PSI is a system for measuring pollution levels for the major air pollutants, based on a scale devised by the U.S. Environment Protection Agency (USEPA).
One commuter told CNBC he was growing frustrated that the government had yet to take concrete action to tackle the situation.
"The haze is horrible, it's bad for everyone's health and quite honestly, something needs to be done about it... I am still going to work. Everybody has to keep going to work. It probably might not be a bad idea for the companies to have people stay home to make a point," he said.
(Watch Now: Can Cloud Seeding Clear Singapore's Hazy Daze?)
Another commuter told CNBC half the staff in her office were away from work due to the smog.
"It really gets bad today in my office and we have almost like half the staff on Medical Certificate (MC) leave because of this haze. I think the government really needs to do something about this," she said.