Located Close to the Beach, Is Pluit Pollution Free?
Pluit, a neighborhood in North Jakarta, is a residential area populated by more than 56,000 people. Its location in the northern part of Jakarta and near the sea makes some people assume that its pollution level is lower than in other areas. But is this true?
To find the answer, Nafas has summarized the data collected by the breath sensors in each location and compiled it in the topic #HYPERLOCAL. In our very first #HYPERLOCAL, we aim to take Nafas citizens to explore the air quality in a specific location, specifically Pluit.
However, before getting to know the air quality in Pluit in more detail, we will bring you to learn about the character of a place that is located near the coast.
Sea Breeze Helps Spread Air Pollution
Being near the coast certainly makes the wind in the area near the coast strong because of the sea breeze. This strong sea breeze affects the air quality in an area. The stronger the wind, the easier it is for pollution particles (PM2.5) in the air to be dispersed so that there are fewer of them in the air. If there are fewer pollution particles in the air, the air quality will improve.
Now, let's check the air pollution data for 2023 in the area near the coast, Pluit!
The figure above shows the average PM2.5 in Pluit (blue line) compared to the average PM2.5 in DKI Jakarta (black line). Throughout 2023, we can see that the air quality in Pluit is generally better than the DKI Jakarta average due to the low PM2.5 count.
A comparison of air quality in DKI Jakarta and Pluit can also be seen from the graph above. It is evident that DKI Jakarta has a higher average PM2.5 level than Pluit. This means that the air quality in Pluit can be said to be better than DKI Jakarta as a whole. But, is the air in Pluit really that 'clean'?
Nearby the Beach Doesn't Mean the air is clean
In June, we can see that the amount of air pollution in Pluit tends to fluctuate, indicating that there are still spikes in PM2.5 pollution every day.
Let's take a look at the air pollution data in Pluit in June 2023!
From the data provided above, we can see that on June 12, 2023, PM2.5 levels reached 87 µg/m3 or 17x above the World Health Organization (WHO) annual exposure limit of 5 µg/m3. Just as alarming, on June 26, 2023, the PM2.5 level reached 85 µg/m3.
Air Quality is Always Changing Quickly
In reality, air quality is not certain in any one place and can change rapidly. Take a look at this graph of the hourly PM2.5 average in Pluit in June 2023!
In June, Pluit has a fairly long window of moderate air, from 9 AM to 10 PM! During these hours, everyone, especially Pluit residents, can be outside enjoying activities, like watching the sunset by the beach, for example.
But then, there are also certain times when pollution rises to unhealthy levels, marked in red. You can see it in the following picture!
From the data above, it can be seen that the air quality every day and every hour can vary, fluctuating. This rapid change in air quality indicates that Nafas residents should not be caught off guard by regularly checking the air quality in your location with the Nafas app. Although the air quality window is quite good and there are some times that are green (meaning the air quality is good), the total average air quality of Pluit from January - June 2023 when summed up is equivalent to smoking 221 cigarettes!
This is the same as smoking 36 cigarettes per month, or 1 cigarette per day if you are a non-smoker (you can find the calculation of cigarettes smoked in this article) 🚬
In the meantime, for vulnerable groups, including Pluit residents with children, don't forget to always check the air quality before leaving the house! Children and people with asthma, as well as the elderly, are very susceptible to diseases triggered by air pollution.
According to the results of a 2019 study in China, every 10 µg/m3 increase in PM2.5 within 6 days led to a 4.3% increase in the number of pediatric patients hospitalized for lower respiratory tract infections (Xia et al., 2019). Thus, despite being located on the seafront with air pollution levels in Pluit that are not as severe as the average PM2.5 in DKI Jakarta, Pluit residents still need to be vigilant and concerned about the air quality in their neighborhood because daily pollution spikes are still frequent and difficult to predict when they will occur.
✅ Therefore, we encourage Nafas residents to follow some tips to reduce their exposure to air pollution:
- Monitor air quality regularly on the Nafas app
- If the air quality is bad, avoid outdoor activities.
- Always wear a mask when going out. [Dr. Citra Amelinda] "Children over 2 years old can wear a mask (cloth mask or disposable mask) that fits over the nose and mouth." - dr. Citra Amelinda]
- Close doors and windows when air quality is poor. Using an air purifier can help clean the air in the room.