Jakarta overwhelmed by bad air quality

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Jakarta, April 5 (IANS) The Indonesian capital of Jakarta and its outskirts are overwhelmed by bad air quality due to excess of harmful pollutant — Particulate Matter (PM 2.5) — in the area, international environmentalist organisation Greenpeace said on Wednesday.

Citing results of air quality monitoring carried out in 19 locations in Jakarta and its outskirts from February to March, Greenpeace said the air quality in these areas was heavily polluted, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to Greenpeace, the average PM 2.5 level in eastern Jakarta suburb area of Cibubur during the period was recorded at 103.2 µg/m3, far above the maximum standards set by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and national air quality standard at 25 µg/m3 and 65 µg/m3, respectively.

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In suburb areas in southern Jakarta, the PM 2.5 levels showed concerning levels of 65.9µg/m3 and 71.5 µg/m3.

“All these times we never realised how bad the air quality in Jakarta is due to the absence of data related to it,” Greenpeace Indonesia Climate and Energy campaigner Bondan Andriyanu said.

He said the availability of data was essential to help the authorities and people in anticipating several diseases caused by bad air quality.

Micro-sized PM 2.5 pollutant may generate various diseases to humans, including acute respiratory problems mostly suffered by children, chronic lung diseases, cardiac problems, lung cancer and stroke, he added.

Greenpeace said the government should encourage the public to use less pollutant-risk vehicles as well as energy sources and revise the regulation on emission in power plant facilities.

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