The increasing number of motor vehicles in Yogyakarta has also increased the lead level in the air. Lead in emmissions has bad impact and hazardous to human health, particularly for children. It can damage various body parts, especially nervous system, blood formation, renal, cardiac and reproduction systems. Therefore, the increase of lead impacts affect the increase of community health costs.
The research by Evi Gravitiani, S.E., M.Si., showed that in 2008 in Yogyakarta there were 29,234 cases of decreased IQ level in children due to lead. There were also 3,732 cases of high blood temperature, 4 cases of coronary heart disease, and 4 premature deaths. â€œChildren are the most vulnerable to lead. The higher content of lead in blood, the lowerÂ level of their intelligence is,â€ said Evi in an open promotion of doctoral promotion in Environmental Sciences of Graduate Programme on Friday (11/12) at the Seminar Room of UGM Graduate School.
In her dissertation, Evi said that if the increase of lead content in the air reaches the limited level, the total compensation cost paid by the people of Yogyakarta amounts toÂ Rp119 billion. Based on her survey in 14 sub-districts in the province, Evi said that the total cost paid by respondents when they are ill is Rp5,308,718. Compared to average respondents' income which is Rp 776,634, their losses when ill amounts to Rp4,532,084 on average.
Evi said that if the lead content in Yogyakarta is reduced by 10%, the benefit that will be gained is equal to Rp47.5 billion and if reduced by 25% the benefit is Rp103.5 billion.
Currently, the number of trees absorbing lead in Yogyakarta is only 24.27% of all trees planted. Evi said that planting trees that can absorp lead is necessary to do especially in areas where the lead level is close to or even above the normal limit. The planting can be done by the Yogyakarta Municipality Government on protocol streets such as Gadjah Mada, Adi Sucipto, Malioboro and Senopati Streets.