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Hanoi air quality worsens

31 March 2019 | 05:39:00 PM

Hanoi’s air quality index over the past three days has reached dire levels.


Hanoi air quality gets worse in the past days



The air quality in the capital has been unhealthy, especially in the early morning. Many monitoring stations in Hanoi had reported an air quality index of over 190, with zero to 50 being ‘good’. Sensitive people are being advised to stay indoors.

Hoang Duong Tung, president of the Vietnam Clean Air Network, said the air quality worsened because of various factors. The weather in the past days has kept dust and pollutants in the lower atmosphere. The particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5) index in Hanoi is also higher than permitted.

According to Tung, 60-70% of the particulate matter was caused by vehicles while the rest came from construction sites in the city, and cement and steel factories from nearby provinces. Tran Quang Nang from the Centre for Hydro-Meteorological Forecasting said Hanoi was experiencing temperature inversion phenomenon and the smog would disappear on March 31 to April 1 as new cold spell arrived with rains.

Do Manh Cuong, vice head of the Office of Environment and Chemicals Management under the Ministry of Health said air pollution could cause many illnesses including heart diseases and cancer. The particulate matter can even get into the blood and it is especially dangerous if it contains chemicals used in pesticides.

However, Hung said different people had different immune systems. Elderly people and pregnant women are the most vulnerable, followed by children and ill people.

"Adults can eliminate most of the pollutants but it's another story for people with illnesses," he said.

Hung went on to say that normal masks are useless against particulate matter. He advised vulnerable people to try to stay indoors and urged the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Construction and other agencies to co-operate to deal with the causes of the pollution.


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