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Jakarta Post

Traffic police vulnerable to air pollution

  • The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, May 20 2010   /  10:54 am

Jakarta, with a population of around 9.2 million people, is home to 10 million motor vehicles, placing traffic police in an environment highly exposed to air pollution. Traffic cops are aware of the problem, all the more so since the government has provided some with paltry breathing protection. “I know that air pollution can reduce IQ levels and cause emotional problems, but wearing a mask is sometimes ineffective because we often take them off to blow our whistles,” said traffic policeman Second Brig. Ahmad Karyadi, who spends at least five hours a day on Central Jakarta’s congested streets. “I bought the mask [for Rp 10,000 (US$1.10)], as well as the helmet [Rp 150,000] on my own,” said Ahmad, who has been working as a traffic officer for two and a half years.“I’ve never been given a mask or a helmet by my office,” he added. Fortunately, Ahmad said, he has not yet...