Rising Air Pollution Trends: October's 50% Jump
- 📍 South Tangerang comes back as the city with the most polluted air
- 🚬 Serpong, South Tangerang, is the area with the worst air quality, equivalent to the smoke of 848 cigarettes in the January—October 2023 period.
- 🍃 The uneven and infrequent rain caused the intensifying air pollution in Jabodetabek.
- 🚨 Trash burning in Sayidan, Yogyakarta and a land fire in Punggul, Sidoarjo caused hazardous air quality in the area.
- 🏃 Running a marathon in polluted routes is risky for people with a history of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.
The bleak skies and a series of unfortunate events in this month have affected the bad air quality in various areas. Even worse, this month’s pollution rate is 50% higher than in October last year! Fortunately, we have the data to keep you educated in this concerning situation. Here are our Nafas Buka Data insights for October’s air condition.
🔴Air Quality Comparison from October ‘22 and ‘23
The transitioning season from dry season to rainy season raised our hopes for a better air quality in Jabodetabek. However, the sensors showed worse air quality compared to October last year. On the left-hand side, we can see that majority of the sensors indicate healthy air in Jabodetabek. The right one, depicted poor air quality in the district, even showing very unhealthy areas.
October 2023 worsen as the unhealthy days comes nonstop for sensitive groups in Jabodetabek and Bandung. There were no healthy green days in the previous month, validating the worsening air condition. Compared with October 2022, the period of unhealthy hours in October 2023 sparked up from a total of 43 hours to 258 hours (6 times increase) in the meantime.
This phenomenon was caused by the infrequent and uneven rainfall in Jabodetabek. Resulting in uneven PM2.5 spread in the atmosphere.
October 2023’s Podium for Worst Polluted Cities
Winning the chart for this month’s worst air quality is South Tangerang with an average PM2.5 of 60 µg/m3. Following as runner ups, are Bandung Raya (PM2.5 average: 57 µg/m3) and Tangerang (PM2.5 average: 55 µg/m3). These cities are polluted with over 12 times WHO’s standards.
The Cigarette Kretek We Unconsciously Breathe
Maybe we’re not in the “Gadis Kretek” movie, but in January—October 2023 we might be breathing more cigarettes than they did! In equivalent, these ten cities all breathed more than 700 cigarettes in the past nine months. Serpong, the city in this month’s champion, ranks as the highest polluted city with an analogous amount of 848 cigarettes. There is also one city outside Jabodetabek, which is Punggul, Sidoarjo, on the tenth rank. There was a high pollution in the area because of the landfire around the city.
🔺Hazardous Air Outside Jabodetabek
The wildfire in the lands of Punggul, Sidoarjo caused a really high pollution in the area. Nafas’ sensors showed a PM2.5 concentration of over 700 µg/m3 which is very hazardous. Trash burning activity in Sayidan, Yogyakarta, also contributed to the increasing pollution in the city. Sensors in Sayidan showed a brown color which indicated hazadous air.
🏃Running A Marathon During High Pollution? Know The Risks
Earlier in October 2023, there were two marathons held in Banten and Jakarta. Both of the marathons were held during the Car Free Day Event. But, the air is still polluted. This is possible because of the changes in the planetary boundary line in the morning and the afternoon. Then, people began asking, “Is it okay to run in this polluted air?” We can answer that question for you.
According to dr. Efriadi, Sp. P(K), a Pulmonologist, stated that exercising outdoors during high pollution can have short-term health risks on sensitive groups or people with a history of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.
A study from Seoul National University also shows evidence that adults (25-30 years old) who exercise in polluted areas daily for ten years in a row have a 33% more risk of having heart disease than people who don’t exercise at all.
🔥A Series of Unfortunate Events: Bantargebang & Rawa Kucing Landfill Fires
Another story from October was the landfill fires from Bantargebang and Rawa Kucing. These events impacted the air quality around the area. On the western side of Jabodetabek, there were declining air conditions with the sensor showing a purple indicator showing very unhealthy air. In the Rawa Kucing case, the satellites show that there is a wind movement towards the west, causing bad air conditions. In the Bantargebang case, the wind was blowing towards the south-west, affecting Bogor Raya, Tangerang, Tangsel, and Depok.
👑Our Future Leaders’ Vision for Better Air Quality
This month’s most interesting highlight is the release of the Vision and Mission of 2024’s Presidential Candidates. One of the crucial issues in 2024 is regarding environmental sustainability, including air quality conditions. Here are their plans for improving air quality in Indonesia.
Overall, every pair of our presidential candidates have mentioned about clean energy. Which is a crucial part of our everyday lives and economy. Anies-Muhaimin was the only one who had a specific target for air pollution by developing air and water quality standards. Then, Ganjar-Mahfud mentioned a unique perspective by including integrated waste management in their vision. On the other side, Prabowo-Gibran highlighted strategies for sustainable development and punishment for environmental criminals.
🙏 Don’t Lose Hope!
Although the future seems as dreary as our skies, never lose hope. We still have a chance to change this situation. You can still make wiser choices to reduce the impacts of air pollution. Through education, communication, and research, may we hope to see blue skies again.
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