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|2||South Tangerang, Banten|
|3||Surabaya, East Java|
|4||Bandung, West Java|
|5||Palembang, South Sumatra|
|9||Semarang, Central Java|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
|4||Puretrex Indonesia - Tegal Alur / Kalideres|
|7||Ascott Kuningan - myhome|
|10||Kemang Dalam IX|
(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Moderate|| 96 US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Jakarta is currently 6.7 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Friday, Dec 1|
Unhealthy for sensitive groups 150 AQI US
|Saturday, Dec 2|
Unhealthy for sensitive groups 113 AQI US
|Sunday, Dec 3|
Moderate 79 AQI US
Moderate 96 AQI US
|Tuesday, Dec 5|
Unhealthy for sensitive groups 140 AQI US
|Wednesday, Dec 6|
Unhealthy for sensitive groups 111 AQI US
|Thursday, Dec 7|
Unhealthy for sensitive groups 115 AQI US
|Friday, Dec 8|
Moderate 82 AQI US
|Saturday, Dec 9|
Moderate 77 AQI US
|Sunday, Dec 10|
Moderate 74 AQI US
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Jakarta is the capital city of Indonesia, with some 10.7 million inhabitants as of 2020. It is well known as the economic, political and cultural hub of the country, with its metropolitan area covering 6392km2. In regards to Jakarta's pollution problems, statistically speaking it comes in with a poor quality of air. In 2019, it came in with a PM2.5 yearly average of 49.4 µg/m³.
PM2.5 refers to microscopic particular matter of 2.5 or less micrometers in diameter, with a wide range of detrimental effects on human health and the environment, and as such it is one of the main pollutants used in calculating a city or countries overall air quality rating.
In regards to Jakarta's 2019 reading of 49.4 µg/m³, this number would put it into the ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’ bracket, which requires a PM2.5 reading of anywhere between 35.5 to 55.4 µg/m³ to be classified as such. Just as the name suggests, a reading such as this would have direct negative health effects on certain demographics of the population, with young children, the elderly and those with poor levels of health or preexisting conditions being the most vulnerable. Despite these demographics being particularly at risk, an average PM2.5 reading this high would be detrimental to even those with good health, when exposed over a long period of time.
To reiterate on the poor levels of air quality in Jakarta, the 2019 reading put it into 126th place out of all the most polluted cities ranked in the world. This is a high ranking, and for some comparison, Bangkok came in at position number 737, with a PM2.5 reading of 22.8 µg/m³ taken over 2019. For a city to have a PM2.5 average that is more than double that of Bangkok's, which is somewhat already infamous for its levels of pollution, shows that there would be significant amounts of smoke, haze and other fine particulate matter permeating the atmosphere, with a large room for improvement.
There are a number of contributing factors in regards to the high levels of pollution in Jakarta. During the year of 2019 a PM2.5 reading of 67.2 µg/m³ was recorded, putting that month’s air quality into the “unhealthy” bracket (55.5 to 150.4 µg/m³ to be classed as such). In order for readings as high as this to be coming in, sources such as vehicles, factory emissions and open burning of organic materials all play a large part.
With such a large population, the roads would be filled with high numbers of motorbikes, cars and trucks, many of which would fall outside the guidelines for what an environmentally safe vehicle should be, with many still running on diesel fuels, emitting far higher levels of pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) being the main compounds associated with vehicular usage, with nitrogen dioxide being found in highest concentrations over areas with large volumes of traffic. As well as the vehicle industry creating havoc to the quality of air, coal and other fossil fuel-based factories seem to be a pertinent issue as of late. In the year of 2020, with COVID-19 having brought large portions of the city (and world) to a standstill, one would expect the pollution levels to drop, but instead they have been rising consistently despite lesser instances of international and domestic tourism. This is blamed largely on the previously mentioned coal-based power plants and factories.
When coal and other fossil fuels are burnt in order to provide energy, large amounts of pollutants are released into the atmosphere, with ones such as carbon monoxide (CO), black carbon, ozone (O3) and volatile organic compounds (VOC’S) all making up a large percentage of the emissions. To add to the other main contributor of air pollution in Jakarta, as well as the rest of Indonesia, open burning of refuse, as well as organic material is of another large concern, with slash and burn farming practices causing vast amounts of smoke and haze to travel from the provinces and permeate the air over major cities, including ones outside of Indonesia such as Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. To finish, the burning of coal fuels in factories seems to be of primary concern for citizens of Jakarta.
Observing data taken over 2019, Jakarta experienced its worst spells of pollution from the months of April through to December, with particularly bad periods of pollution being recorded in May, June, July, September and October, all of which came in with unhealthy ratings of PM2.5 in the air, requiring the readings to come in anywhere over 55.5 µg/m³. The first three months of the year saw the cleanest air quality, although even these were still high (with January being the absolute lowest average at 24.2 µg/m³).
With higher levels of pollution often comes an increase in the number of health risks, as well as the number of cases occurring. Some symptom’s that may occur are incidences of chest infections, irritation to the eyes, skin, mouth and nose, as well increased susceptibility towards developing respiratory ailments such as emphysema, bronchitis and aggravated asthma.
Other conditions include damage to the heart and circulatory system, due to the pervasively small size of PM2.5. it can enter into the blood stream via the lung tissue, whereby it can cause damage to the blood vessels, and raising the chance of heart attacks as well as increasing the risk of heart diseases and other cardiac disturbances. For pregnant mothers who are exposed to high levels of pollution whilst carrying their baby, cases of premature birth, low birth rate, as well as miscarriage and birth defects are much higher when compared to cities with cleaner air quality. These are but a few of the ill health effects that one can suffer from when exposed to poor air quality over longer periods of time.
When observing the data collected in Jakarta over the last few years, it becomes apparent that the levels of air quality have actually gotten worse instead of better. 2017 came in with a yearly average of 29.7 µg/m³, putting it into the ‘moderate’ bracket of air quality. On to 2018, a reading of 45.3 µg/m³ was taken, showing that levels of PM2.5 had nearly doubled over the course of the year. Onto 2019, the aforementioned average of 49.4 µg/m³ was taken, showing a further increase. Due to these rising levels, preventative measures such as the wearing of High-quality particle filtering masks, as well as avoiding outdoor activities and exercise when pollution levels are particularly high, would go a long way in reducing harm to individuals that live in the city of Jakarta.
6 Data sources