Indonesia has been named the most polluted country in Southeast Asia, ranking 17th in the world.
The list of the most polluting countries in the world was released in the latest report entitled World Air Quality from IQAir 2021. The countries included in the report are countries with the highest fine particulate or PM2.5 pollution.
Fine particulate pollution, also known as PM2.5, is considered the most dangerous pollutant. These air pollutants are believed to be the main factor influencing human health problems, such as asthma, stroke, and heart and lung disease said to have caused millions of premature deaths every year.
The IQAir 2021 World Air Quality Report is the first global air quality report based on the annually updated Air Quality Guidelines for PM2.5 by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The new guidelines from WHO were released in September 2021 and reduced the previous annual PM2.5 guideline value from 10 micrograms per m3 to 5 micrograms per m3.
IQAir conducted research on PM2.5 air pollution from air monitoring stations in 6,475 cities in 117 countries, regions, and territories. Air pollution conditions in Indonesia are reported to have the highest concentration of PM2.5 in the region at 34.3 micrograms per m3, making Indonesia the most polluted country in Southeast Asia.
Based on the IQAir report, the times with the highest PM2.5 concentrations in Indonesia were in June and July, at 54.5 micrograms per m3 and 57.2 micrograms per m3, respectively. Meanwhile, the times with the lowest PM2.5 concentrations in Indonesia were in February and November, namely 24.3 micrograms per m3 and 23.8 micrograms per m3.
Surabaya was ranked 11th in the list of the most polluted cities in Southeast Asia, followed by Jakarta which is ranked 12th, with Bandung at number 13. Meanwhile, the Indonesian cities of Samarinda, Kayu Agung, Banda Aceh, and Palangkaraya are included in the list of cities with the lowest air pollution in the region.
According to IQAir CEO Frank Hammes, as reported by Kompas.com on Thursday 7th April 2022, many things must be done to produce clean and safe air for humans.
“This report underscores how much work needs to be done to ensure that everyone has safe, clean, and healthy air to breathe. Now is the time to act,” said Hammes.