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New Study: Clean Air Action in Jakarta Could Protect 10,000 Lives and Save Billions in Health Expenditures

First comprehensive study quantifies health and economic effects of air pollution in Jakarta 

Feb. 27, 2023, (Jakarta, Indonesia)—A new study from global health organization Vital Strategies and the Environment Agency of DKI Jakarta estimates that air pollution in Jakarta potentially causes more than 10,000 deaths and 5,000 hospitalizations for cardiorespiratory diseases in each year, along with more than 7,000 adverse outcomes in children, and costs more than US $2.9 billion annually (2.2% of DKI Jakarta’s gross regional domestic product).

“Air pollution is a major health threat to more than 10.5 million Jakarta residents,” said Sumi Mehta, Vice President for Environmental, Climate and Urban Health at Vital Strategies. “While the global evidence on the adverse health impacts of air pollution is consistent and clear, until now there has been insufficient local evidence of the health and economic burden of air pollution in Jakarta. This study was conducted to bridge this gap and to quantify the health and economic impact of air pollution in the city.”  

The study, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, was conducted by Vital Strategies and the Environment Agency of the Special Capital District (DKI) of Jakarta, together with technical partners Universitas Padjadjaran and Institut Teknologi Bandung. It is the first comprehensive study to evaluate health and economic burdens attributable to air pollution in Jakarta, applying methods from the Global Burden of Disease project (2019) to local health and economic data. 

Key findings from the study include: 

  • The economic loss due to PM2.5 and O3-related deaths and illness is nearly US $3 billion, which is around 2.2% of DKI Jakarta’s gross regional domestic product. 
  • Air pollution potentially causes more than 5,000 hospitalizations for cardiorespiratory diseases overall, more than 7,000 adverse outcomes in children, and 10,000 deaths each year. 
  • The annual level of PM2.5—fine particulates that are invisible but are particularly damaging to health—in Jakarta was three times higher than the national standards. 
  • Annual exposure to PM2.5 potentially caused over 10,000 premature deaths in 2019, including 330 infant deaths. Air pollution also potentially caused adverse birth outcomes in 700 infants, as well as 6,100 cases of stunting. 

Five districts in DKI Jakarta—Central, North, South, West, and East Jakarta—were surveyed. The study focused on health-damaging pollutants that routinely exceed the World Health Organization’s health-based air quality guidelines, as well as Indonesia’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for fine particulate matter air (PM2.5) and ozone (O3). 

“Using local data to quantify and assess the health and economic impacts of air pollution in Jakarta, our study provides timely evidence needed to guide city policymakers as they prioritize clean air actions to be taken to promote the public’s health,” said Ginanjar Syuhada, Program Officer, Environmental, Climate and Urban Health at Vital Strategies.  

“We hope that this study can provide timely information to policymakers to formulate clean air measures and actions to minimize adverse health outcomes for Jakarta residents,” said Ir Erni Pelita Fitratunnisa, ME Head of Environment Management Division, Environment Agency of DKI Jakarta Province. 

To access the full study, visit:  

About Vital Strategies  

Vital Strategies believes every person should be protected by an equitable and effective public health system. We partner with governments, communities and organizations around the world to reimagine public health so that health is supported in all the places we live, work and play. The result is millions of people living longer, healthier lives. 

To learn more visit or follow us @VitalStrat