Jakarta – As part of the ongoing efforts to raise awareness about the capital's worsening air quality, mountaineering community Slow Adventure Indonesia, also known as Slowventure Indonesia, distributed 1,000 free face masks during Car Free Day in Dukuh Atas, Central Jakarta, on Sunday.
"We are distributing the masks to raise awareness about the danger of pollution in Jakarta," Ryan, a representative of the community, said as quoted by Antara.
He said the air quality in Jakarta was getting worse. Jakarta has several times been ranked as the city with the worst air pollution in the world according to air quality monitor AirVisual.
He said Jakarta's air quality was at an alarming level, and that they wanted to raise people's awareness that it could easily affect people's respiratory health.
"This is a little step that we can make," he said, adding that the masks had been donated by people after they announced their plan on social media.
Ryan added that it was the third time they had distributed masks for free after doing so in Ragunan and Pancoran, South Jakarta.
Data from Jakarta Smart City shows that the number of people who suffer from respiratory illnesses is on the rise.
In 2016, 41,053 children in Jakarta suffered from pneumonia, which can be triggered by air pollution, almost double the previous year's total of 24,193.
The Jakarta Health Agency has previously advised people to wear better quality face masks to prevent pollutants entering their lungs, as the regular masks on the market can only filter out particles greater than 10 microns in size, and so cannot block the worst pollutants.
Therefore, the agency has urged people to wear N-95 face masks that can filter out smaller pollution particles.–JP