Tuesday, Jul 07, 2020 | Last Update : 03:14 AM IST

104th Day Of Lockdown

Maharashtra2119871152629026 Tamil Nadu114978665711571 Delhi100823720883115 Gujarat36858263231967 Uttar Pradesh2770718761785 Telangana2390212703295 Karnataka234749849372 West Bengal2212614711757 Rajasthan2026315965459 Andhra Pradesh200198920239 Haryana1750413335276 Madhya Pradesh1528411579617 Bihar12140901497 Assam11737743414 Odisha9526648648 Jammu and Kashmir84295255132 Punjab64914494132 Kerala5623334128 Chhatisgarh3207257814 Uttarakhand3161258642 Jharkhand2815204520 Goa181310617 Tripura158012061 Manipur13897330 Himachal Pradesh107074610 Puducherry101148014 Nagaland5782280 Chandigarh4874016 Arunachal Pradesh269781 Mizoram191130 Sikkim125650 Meghalaya80431
  Life   Health  29 Mar 2019  Air pollution reducing lifespans in south-east Asia

Air pollution reducing lifespans in south-east Asia

AP
Published : Mar 29, 2019, 4:08 pm IST
Updated : Mar 29, 2019, 4:08 pm IST

Worsening air pollution reducing lifespans in Indonesia, which has lesser air pollution as compared to countries like India, Bangladesh and China.

Smoke billows during a forest fires in Pelalawan, Riau province, Indonesia. (Photo: AP)
 Smoke billows during a forest fires in Pelalawan, Riau province, Indonesia. (Photo: AP)

Jakarta: Indonesia's air quality has deteriorated from among the cleanest in the world to one of the most polluted over the past two decades, shaving five years from life expectancy in some regions, researchers say.

The study by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago says an increase in coal-fired power stations, burning of land for plantation agriculture and rising car ownership are responsible for the worsening pollution in the world's fourth-most populous country.

 

The greatest spike happened in the last few years with air pollution more than doubling between 2013 and 2016, it said. The burden on public health has become one of the highest in the world, behind only India, China, Bangladesh and Pakistan. "High air pollution is now undermining Indonesians' health," said researchers Michael Greenstone and Qing Fan.

"In 1998, air pollution barely impacted the life expectancy of Indonesians. In fact, even in 2013, it shaved only a few months off of average life expectancy," they added. According to the researchers, sustained high concentrations of particulate matter in the air people breath will cut 2.3 years from lifespans in the capital, Jakarta.

On the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, both of which suffer land fires every year, the expected reduction in lifespans is four years on average. It rises to 4.8 years for the southern Sumatran city of Palembang and 5.6 years for its neighboring Ogan Komering Ilir district.

Indonesia's annual dry season fires were particularly disastrous in 2015, burning 2.6 million hectares (10,000 square miles) of land and spreading health-damaging haze across Indonesia, Singapore, southern Thailand and Malaysia. The World Bank estimated the fires cost Indonesia USD16 billion and a Harvard and Columbia study estimated the haze hastened 100,000 deaths in the region. Wetter weather resulted in reduced areas of land burning in the following three years, though the area burned jumped again last year to more than 510,000 hectares (2,000 square miles).

The University of Chicago study said the air pollution effects are widespread. Small particles carried by the wind from land fires at times contribute 31 per cent of Jakarta's "PM2.5", tiny particles that cause haze when levels are elevated and which are linked to lung cancer, respiratory illness and other diseases.

Citing the experience of cities such as London, Osaka and Los Angeles in reducing disastrous air pollution and China's more recent progress, the researchers said Indonesia's pollution problem is "solvable" through stricter regulation and stronger enforcement.

Tags: air pollution, air quality index, public health, life expectancy, indonesia, lung cancer, respiratory diseases