air pollution in jakarta

Surviving the Smog: Things You Can Do to Protect Yourself from Air Pollution in Jakarta

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Jakarta’s smog has reached dangerous levels, making air pollution a pressing issue. It has been dealing with deteriorating air quality, which poses serious health risks to its residents. The rising levels of pollutants such as particulate matter and carbon monoxide have alarmed the public.

However, we can take steps to protect ourselves from the harmful effects of air pollution. This article will explore various ways to survive the smog in Jakarta, such as wearing masks and limiting outdoor activities during peak pollution hours, as well as investing in air purifiers and keeping indoor plants.

Current Situation of Jakarta’s Air Pollution Problems

After almost a month since the air pollution problem emerged, Jakarta is still placed in the top tier of the most polluted cities in the world. According to IQAir.com, Jakarta currently placed fifth in the world’s most polluted city ranking with a 123 air quality index, preceding Kolkata, India, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Johannesburg, South Africa.

As a result, several government agencies and private businesses have begun to implement work-from-home (WFH) systems for their employees to reduce air pollution in this city. More attempts and policies also started to be implemented to reduce pollution as well.

Side Effects of Air Pollution in Jakarta

The problem of air pollution undoubtedly has some negative health and environmental consequences. Here are a few examples:

Reduces visibility

This is possible if there is a lot of pollution in the air. If the smoke is dense, it can obstruct vision, reducing visibility automatically. To avoid a collision or accident if visibility is reduced, one solution is to walk more carefully or slowly. In fact, not only are we as humans disturbed, but airport operations are also disrupted, causing some departures to be delayed.

Triggers respiratory problems

The human respiratory system is extremely vulnerable to dirty air containing carbon dioxide and other toxic gases. Acute respiratory infections, such as asthma and bronchitis, can be caused by dirty air entering the body through the respiratory tract. If we are constantly exposed to polluted air, we may develop lung cancer.

Respiratory system irritation

The amount of dirty dust that is inhaled is extremely hazardous to human health. If this occurs regularly, the cilia’s movement can slow or even stop, preventing them from clearing the respiratory tract.

Global climate change

Humans have thrown off the natural balance by producing large amounts of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane. As a result, the Earth’s atmosphere retains more of the sun’s heat, causing the average temperature of the planet to rise, a phenomenon known as global warming. Many scientists believe that global warming will have serious consequences for human health, agriculture, water resources, forests, wildlife, and coastal zones.

Tips to Protect Yourself from Air Pollution in Jakarta

As people who commute to the Jakarta area, sometimes outdoor activities are inevitable. With that being said, every day, you will most likely be exposed to air pollution. The following are some tips to help you protect yourself from air pollution and maintain good health:

Do Air Quality Checking in Your Neighbourhood Regularly

Before you do your activities outside, make sure to check the air quality first. Nowadays, there are so many air quality checking apps that can be checked from your fingertips; such as IQair, Nafas, JAKI, and so on. You can check the indicator from the colour that is displayed on the apps.

Wear a Mask When You Go Outside

We know that the obligation to wear a mask during COVID-19 has been lifted earlier this year, but with this situation occurring, it was advised for you to wear masks when you do activities outside. Masks can protect you from harmful particles in low-quality air, allowing you to avoid respiratory problems and other dangerous diseases.

Stay Inside As Long As You Can

If you don’t have any urgent business to deal with on the outside, it is preferable to stay at home. Or if you must go out, try to do the activities inside. Make sure the room you’re in has a good ventilation cycle, and don’t forget to shower right after you’ve done something outside to get rid of all the bad particles of air pollution that have been exposed to your body.

Reduce Private Vehicles Usage

The largest source of nitrogen oxides is road transport. Nitrogen oxide is an air pollutant that is harmful to the lungs. The problem of dangerous pollutants from motorised vehicles can be felt in congested cities.

You can begin using public transport instead of bringing a private vehicle. Aside from that, you can’t drive during traffic jams, bring snacks with you so you don’t have to go out driving during lunch hours, and hitch a ride in a friend’s vehicle. Avoid driving cars that run on diesel fuel because they emit more nitrogen oxides.

Use Sustainable Products

According to a 2017 study published in the International Journal of Science, countries that produce “cheap” goods account for 22% of premature deaths caused by air pollution. Countries that produce cheap goods have no emission limits, and the dirty air they produce becomes the air we breathe.

Thus, our consumption habits have an impact on the level of global air pollution. So, think twice before purchasing new items to improve air quality. If you truly require a new product, look for a company that is dedicated to reducing air pollution.

Conclusion

Finally, the issue of air pollution in Jakarta requires immediate attention. Individuals can take several steps to address this issue. To begin, regularly monitoring air quality can aid in determining the level of pollution in the surrounding environment. Second, wearing masks outside can aid in preventing harmful substances from being inhaled. Staying indoors during high pollution periods can also help to reduce exposure to polluted air.

Additionally, reducing the use of private vehicles in favour of public transportation or walking can help to reduce vehicle emissions. Finally, using sustainable products can help to reduce pollution and overall environmental impact. Everyone must take proactive steps to improve air quality and protect our health.

Check out these other articles to learn more about health and wellness tips in Indonesia:

A Jakarta-based content creative enthusiast who started his content-making journey by joining a school reporter community at a well-known teen magazine in Indonesia during high school in 2013. Besides writing, he also loved to listen to podcasts and watch pro wrestling shows.

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