Air quality in Jakarta and its surrounding areas is indicated to be harmful to public health over the past few years. Air quality monitoring conducted by the US Embassy (US Embassy) by measuring PM2.5 concentrations shows very poor air quality and harmful to human health. Unhealthy air quality, for example, occurred in Central Jakarta and South Jakarta, especially in May-July 2017, on the contrary from the same monitoring results showed good air quality during 2017 only recorded as many as 29 days during the year.
PM2.5 is a very small and dangerous particle from power generation, transportation, and industrial activity. Air quality with unhealthy levels for humans will pose very serious health threats to sensitive groups, such as children, pregnant women, and the elderly (elderly) group. The average annual PM2.5 figure in south Jakarta was 29.6 ug / m3 and Central Jakarta recorded 27.6 ug / m3. This figure is far beyond the tolerable standard, such as the WHO standard that is 10 μg / m3 and even exceeds the National Ambient Air Quality Standard, which is 15 μg / Nm3. PM2.5 can be inhaled and deposited in the respiratory organs. If exposed in the long run, PM2.5 can cause acute respiratory infections – especially for children – to lung cancer. In addition, PM2.5 can increase levels of toxins in the blood vessels that can stimulate stroke, cardiovascular disease and other heart diseases, and can harm pregnant women because of the potential to attack the fetus.
The poor condition of Jakarta’s air pollution should be dealt with immediately. It takes the Government’s firm steps through its regulatory umbrella to protect public health, especially sensitive groups. The Ministry of Environment and Forestry through existing regulations should be addressed to regulate stricter standardization of exhaust emissions from transportation activities and power generation sectors. Jakarta as the capital of the Republic of Indonesia will reflect the Government’s success in creating a viable city for the community. But on the other hand, Jakarta has also been the center of various activities and economic activities, as well as urbanization. The explosion of private transport users is a major contributor to the poor quality of the capital’s air. Various dust pollutants and gas chemicals from motor vehicle fuel have affected the incidence of ARI, Asthma Bronchitis, Pulmonary Disorders, Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (COPD), Lung Cancer and even Heart Disease disease in 58% of Jakarta residents in 2010. Cost treatment of air pollution-related diseases reached Rp.38.5 trillion (KLHK, 2011). This is further exacerbated by the siege of Jakarta by the planned construction of 12 large coal-fired power plants that will emit huge amounts of SOx, NOx and PM2.5 emissions that will endanger Jakarta’s public health.
Midway through this year, Jakarta will host a major international Asian Games event, where the country’s good name is at stake. The athletes, who come from various countries in Asia, certainly hope to provide maximum performance. A thing that would be difficult to achieve if they had to compete in a region with poor air quality. The 2008 Beijing Olympics was almost canceled should Beijing not make every effort to clean up its air pollution, a clear example of successful urban air quality management. For that, it is not only necessary for the government’s real step, besides through a strict regulation, but also planning real action to restore the blue sky of Jakarta.
Department of Environmental Health Faculty of Public Health University of Indonesia together with Research Center for Climate Change University of Indonesia initiate to hold National Seminar of Air Quality Jakarta: Is it safe for us and Asian Games Athlete? The national seminar aims to discuss the status of Jakarta’s air quality and its foresight, health impacts on public health, prevention and control of air pollution, and effective air quality monitoring technology. The seminar will be held in a panel discussion involving resource persons from Bandung Institute of Technology, University of Indonesia, Indonesian Lung Doctor Association, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Greenpeace Indonesia and United States Environmental Protection Agency (US-EPA).
To download speaker presentations, please go to this link.