Urbanites face health risks from air pollution
VietNamNet Bridge - Coal-fired thermal power plants which emit huge amounts of dust are still not required to issue reports on the possible impact on people’s health.


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Tran Tuan, director of RTCCD, a non-government organization, said the number of polluting sources, including industrial production factories, construction works and coal-fired thermal power plants, has been increasing rapidly.

Under the power development plan, Vietnam will have 40 more coal-fired plants by 2030. However, a report from Harvard University shows that the number of premature deaths in Vietnam because of coal-fired thermal power will rise from 4,300 in 2011 to 15,700 by 2030.

Under the power development plan, Vietnam will have 40 more coal-fired plants by 2030. However, a report from Harvard University shows that the number of premature deaths in Vietnam because of coal-fired thermal power will rise from 4,300 in 2011 to 15,700 by 2030.

RTCCD has carried out a survey in Thanh Hai commune in Thanh Liem district in Ha Nam province,14 kilometers southwest of the Ninh Binh coal-fired Plant near cement and building material factories. 

In the commune, 70 percent of people aged over 65 and children below 5 had respiratory and cardiovascular disease. The survey found that 97 people die in the commune every year, including 39 deaths caused by cancer.

Vietnam is among the countries which cannot meet WHO’s standards on safe air, according to Nguyen Trung Thanh, deputy head of the Institute of Strategy & Policy on Natural Resources and Environment.

In 2011, 419 people out of 100,000 people (4.2 percent) had pneumonia, while 350/100,000 people (3.5 percent) suffered from sore throat and acute tonsils, and 273/100,000 from bronchitis, according to a report of the Ministry of Health (MOH).

Tran Dinh Sinh, deputy director of GreenID, said some newly built thermal power plants are equipped with static electricity filters which can settle 99.7 percent of dust, which means 0.25 percent, or 7.7 tons of dust, still goes to the air every day. 

The 2016 national environment status released by MONRE showed that air pollution has caused a conflict between polluting factories and residential quarters nearby. 

The polluting enterprises are mostly those ones in the fields of thermal power, cement production, seafood processing and enterprises using toxic chemicals.

Chairman of the Public Health Association Le Vu Anh said that developers of thermal power plants are required to make reports on the possible impact of their projects on the environment, but not on the impact on people’s health.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (MONRE) has been aware of the importance of such a report, but it is not required by law. 

Do Van Nguyet, director of Live Learn, said state management agencies need to give priority to air pollution problems. When Live Learn released the report on the air pollution index in Hanoi, international schools and the US Embassy were the only groups that issued warnings to the public.


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Kim Chi

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