Monitoring stations in Hanoi cannot detect mercury in air
VietNamNet Bridge - Hanoi needs 20-30 air monitoring stations, but only two are operational, and they can only measure basic indexes. 

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The monitoring station at No 556 Nguyen Van Cu Street in Hanoi showed that in the week from May 25 to May 31, the air quality index (AQI) value was at the orange alarm level on five days. 

The orange alarm is given when the AQI is between 101 and 200 which means ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’ and the people with sensitive health conditions are advised not to go out.

The AQI was at the red alarm on the two remaining days. The red alarm is given when the AQI is in the range of 200-300 and people are recommended not to go outside.

The monitoring reports in the last 30 days showed that ‘moderate’ air quality was seen only on two days, while no one day had a ‘good’ AQI value.

Hanoi needs 20-30 air monitoring stations, but only two are operational, and they can only measure basic indexes. 
Le Hoang Lan from the Vietnam Society for Conservation of Nature and Environment affirmed that the air pollution in Hanoi is severely polluted. 

“In addition to fine dust pollution problem, we should also be careful with organic matter (LHL1) such as benzene,” she warned.

“When burning coal, we only think of CO2 and CO, the toxic gases which can cause death. But the burning also produces PAH (Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons), substances which may cause cancer to those who inhale it.

Usually when burning firewood, we only think of CO2 and CO, toxic gases can cause death; but the mix of firewood with combustible additives usually helps generate polycyclic organic matter - carcinogenic for inhalation,” she said.

Pham Ngoc Dang, deputy chair of the Vietnam Society for Conservation of Nature and Environment, said he has repeatedly been warning about VOC (volatile organic compounds) levels mostly originated from filling stations, building materials and insecticides workshops. 

Dang said though state management agencies have not made public the air monitoring results, it is clear that 100 percent of the monitoring stations show indexes exceeding the permitted levels. VOC is much more hazardous than dust.

“If people are exposed to VOC, they may suffer from headache, dizziness and nausea.  And if they are exposed to VOC for a long time, they may face the risk of cancer,” he said.

Regarding the measuring of mercury, which the monitoring equipment donated by the US found in Hanoi, the Hanoi Department of Natural Resources and the Environment said existing laboratories are unable to measure Mercury.


KH & PT


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