Jakarta – Amid the spotlight on worsening air pollution in the capital city, the Jakarta Health Agency has advised residents to wear better quality face masks in order to prevent pollutants from entering their lungs.
Agency head Widyastuti said the regular masks on the market are not effective enough to block the worst pollutants as they can usually only filter out particles that are greater than 10 microns in size.
"A regular surgical mask is not really effective," she said as reported by kompas.com on Thursday. Widyastuti urged residents to wear face masks of the N-95 type that can filter smaller pollution particles.
"To protect ourselves from the impacts of air pollution we have to consistently wear the masks, meaning not wear it and take it on and off," she said, adding that the proper type of mask had a curve for the nose that could make the wearers uncomfortable.
The N-95 face mask, she explained, is a type usually used by doctors and nurses when dealing with patients who have contagious diseases.
Jakarta's air pollution has recently been put under the spotlight because it has been getting worsen, which prompted a group of residents to file a civil lawsuit against the government to do something to improve air quality. Jakarta was among the worst-polluted cities in Southeast Asia, according to World Health Organization data recorded from 2015 to 2016. (tru)