Jakarta ranks as the most polluted city with the worst air quality in the world and is believed to have a significant impact on residents’ life expectancy.
As VIVA has reported, Jakarta ranks as the most polluted city in Indonesia and the world, according to the results of the measurement of the Air Quality Index (AQI) and the air pollution report released by IQAir. Based on the latest data on the morning of Monday 20th June 2022 at 7am local Jakarta time, the capital’s AQI reached 196.
Air Quality Life Index (AQLI) also reported that, based on data from the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, residents in Jakarta are estimated to lose three to four years of life expectancy due to air pollution. This estimation was released on 14th June 2022.
“Residents living in the most polluted parts in Southeast Asia in the areas around Mandalay, Hanoi, and Jakarta are expected to lose life expectancy of an average of three to four years,” stated AQLI’s report on Sunday 6th June.
Almost all regions of Southeast Asia were considered to have unsafe pollution rates, increases of up to 24 percent in several areas. The World Health Organisation (WHO) also revised the safe level of pollution exposure from an original 10 micrograms per cubic metre down to five micrograms per cubic metre.
“The new guideline brings most of the world, or 97.3 percent of the global population, into unsafe zones,” the report wrote.
The areas of regions in Jakarta that have the worst air quality are Rawa Buaya, Capital, and Kemang. Therefore, people who live in these areas are encouraged to be more careful and maintain their body’s immunity to stay healthy.
Java is also in the spotlight because it is an industrial centre in Indonesia. During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, areas around Jakarta such as Depok, Bogor, Bekasi, and Tangerang experienced a decrease in pollution rates of 16 percent. However, the decline could only reduce the level of pollution to 30.1 micrograms per cubic metre – still far from the WHO standard.
“If the region succeeds in fulfilling WHO guidelines, around 29 million residents will get an average increase in life expectancy of 2.5 years,” reported AQLI.
To protect from deteriorating air pollution, residents are advised to wear masks when leaving the house or doing activities outside the home, reduce outdoor activities, close windows to avoid dirty air, and complement the room with air purification tools.
Based on the IQAir site, air pollution is estimated to have caused 5,100 deaths in Jakarta in 2021. The main cause of declining air quality is the high gas emissions from vehicles and emissions from industry. The high mobility of the community means private vehicle usage has increased in Jakarta and the growing number of buildings and lack of trees further worsen the situation.