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Urban Living: Understanding the Health Impacts of Air Pollution Before You Move

Urban Living: Understanding the Health Impacts of Air Pollution Before You Move


Introduction

In recent times, Jakarta has been grappling with a serious issue – air pollution. The Indonesian capital has ranked among the top three cities with the worst air quality globally, according to IQAir's data for August 2023.

The Root of Air Pollution

Air pollution stems from various sources, including gases, liquids, and specific solid particles suspended in the air. These particles originate from aerosols, dust, factory emissions, forest fires, vehicular exhaust, and cigarette smoke.

Several common pollutants that disperse in the air include heavy metals, carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), ozone (O3), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and sulfur dioxide (SO2). Indonesia itself is among the countries with alarmingly high pollution levels. What are the health implications of air pollution? Let's delve into them.

Impaired Respiratory Health

The effects of air pollution from vehicle emissions, factory smoke, and other sources can lead to respiratory disorders such as asthma, acute respiratory infections (ARIs), and lung cancer. Moreover, air pollution can result in reduced oxygen levels in the human body.

Disrupting Oxygen Circulation in the Blood

It's not just the respiratory system; the circulatory system can also suffer due to air pollution's impacts. This is caused by high levels of carbon monoxide (CO), which increase inflammatory protein levels and blood viscosity. This can trigger inflammation of blood vessels, potentially leading to cardiovascular diseases.

Global Warming Consequences

One of the consequences of air pollution is the exacerbation of global warming. As a result, temperatures worldwide rise, sea levels increase, and ice in colder regions melts faster. This situation also threatens the habitats of various plant and animal species in different countries.

Miscarriages and Autism Triggers

For pregnant women, air pollution poses significant risks to both themselves and their unborn children. Exposure to air pollution during pregnancy can cause inflammation throughout the body and lead to premature birth. Meanwhile, for the fetus, this condition can result in miscarriage, future asthma, and autism.

So, these are the health impacts of air pollution that should be acknowledged. There are several measures that can be taken to mitigate air pollution, including reducing excessive electricity usage, utilizing public transportation, having air purifiers (in homes, vehicles, and workplaces), and implementing the concepts of "reduce," "reuse," and "recycle."

Additionally, urban living often brings the burden of flooding, which has numerous adverse effects. Read the following article to understand the impacts of floods that you should be aware of.

Lastly, don't forget to protect yourself with Health Insurance.