Air Pollution Levels in Jakarta Far Exceed WHO Standards: Greenpeace


JULY 31, 2017

Jakarta. The greater Jakarta area is overwhelmed by poor air quality, with high levels of health-deteriorating pollutants exceeding standards set by the World Health Organization, Greenpeace Indonesia said in a statement.

Greenpeace monitored air quality at 21 locations in Jakarta and the surrounding cities of Bogor, Tangerang, Depok and Bekasi between January and June. The results show that particle pollution, or fine inhalable particles with diameters 2.5 micrometers and smaller (PM 2.5), in those locations exceeded the 25 micrograms per cubic meter air (µg/m³) concentration standard set by WHO. An estimated 28 million people live in these areas.

The result of Greenpeace's study also exceeds the 65 µg/m³ limit set by Indonesia's National Ambient Air Quality Standards.

"This finding is also similar with the air monitoring done by the American Embassy in Jakarta," Greenpeace Indonesia campaigner Bondan Andriyani said on Sunday (30/07).

In Central Jakarta for instance, good quality air was only recorded on 20 days in the first half of this year, Bondan said.

The 21 locations that were monitored are in Permata Hijau, Antasari, Warung Buncit, Kebon Jeruk, Kedoya, Utan Kayu, Cilandak, H.R. Rasuna Said, Kebagusan, Cibubur and Setiabudi in Jakarta; Gandul, Kukusan and Citayam in Depok (West Java); Cikunir, Jatibening and Tambun in Bekasi (West Java); Jonggol, Kedung Halang and Parung in Bogor (West Java); and Ciledug in Tangerang (Banten).

According to the result of the Greenpeace study, the worst air quality was recorded at Cibubur at 106 µg/m³, followed by Warung Buncit at 97 µg/m³ and Gandul at 84 µg/m³. The best air quality was recorded in Jonggol at 47 µg/m³, which still exceeds the WHO standard.

By combining a risk analysis from Global Burden of Disease Project initiated by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), and the estimated PM 2.5 in a full year, Greenpeace said it can measure death risks from certain diseases.

It said one of its calculations showed that the risk of death due to stroke in all 21 monitored locations had doubled due to higher concentrations of particle pollution.

Greenpeace also suggests that the public may need to use masks or avoid the locations that are plagued by high pollutant levels.

In its statement on Sunday, Greenpeace called on the local government to push for policies that will prevent worsening air quality. It also criticized the procedures used by the Jakarta Environmental Agency for monitoring air quality, saying that it only does so in five locations; that it does not produce real-time data; and that it cannot measure particle pollution levels.

The nongovernmental organization said the Jakarta provincial government and local authorities have "to offer information and education about the dangers of air pollution to the public and establish cross-agency cooperation," to allow the public to breathe better air.

This is not the first time Greenpeace conducted an air quality study in the capital.