Air pollution is the leading killer in Vietnam
VietNamNet Bridge - Of the 10 diseases with highest mortality rates in Vietnam, six are respiratory diseases related to air pollution and air quality, according to a ministry report.


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Air pollution is the leading killer



The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment’s (MONRE) report on the status of the national environment in 2016 released in early 2017 affirmed that most large urban areas in Vietnam experience air pollution, especially fine dust. 

Fine dust cannot be seen by the naked eye. In big cities like Hanoi and HCMC, the fine dust concentration in some areas exceed the level permitted by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Monitoring data shows the high level of dust pollution in urban areas which has increased steadily in the last five years.

At some intersections and construction works, the dust concentration is 5-6 times higher. In some large areas, the PM10 and PM2.5 are higher than the Vietnamese standards and the number of days with such high fine dust concentrations accounts for one-fifth of total days in a year. 

At some intersections and construction works, the dust concentration is 5-6 times higher. In some large areas, the PM10 and PM2.5 are higher than the Vietnamese standards and the number of days with such high fine dust concentrations accounts for one-fifth of total days in a year. 

The research works by GreenID pointed out that the PM2.5 dust concentration in some urban areas in Vietnam sometimes is twice as high as the national standards and five times higher than the WHO-recommended annual average level.

According to Do Manh Cuong from the Ministry of Health (MOH), Vietnam is one of the countries with a high number of motorbikes and cars, which is a major cause of air pollution. The high density of construction works is also a reason.

Air pollution can contribute to asthma, cancer, neurodevelopmental disorders and inborn defects in young children; and heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cancer in adults. In addition, exposure to air pollution can lead to some irritation symptoms in the eyes, throat and nose.

A WHO report released in 2015 showed that of 10 diseases with the highest mortality rates in Vietnam, six had relations with respiratory problems caused by air pollution. Respiratory diseases are also one of the five most prevalent diseases in Vietnam.

Cuong from MOH warned that if Vietnam doesn’t have effective measures to control fine dust generation sources, the diseases related to air pollution will double by 2020.

Nguyen Trong An from the Research and Training Center for Community Development (RTCCD) expressed his concern that the strong development of coal-fired power plants will worsen the situation

There are about 20 coal-fired thermopower plants with total capacity of 13,110 MW which consume 45 million tons of coal each year and produce 15,700 tons of ash and slag. 

It is expected that the number of coal-fired power plants will rise to 80 by 2030 with total capacity of 24,370 MW.


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Mai Lan

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