Former US Secretary of State John Kerry warns about air pollution level in Hanoi
VietNamNet Bridge - The air pollution in Hanoi is getting more serious, partly due to emissions from coal-fired power and cement plants located in Hai Phong and Quang Ninh.


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The air pollution in Hanoi is getting more serious



Former US Secretary of State John Kerry, at a symposium on how to adapt to climate change and strengthen energy security held several days ago, expressed his concern about Hanoi’s pollution, which has worsened since 2008.

Kerry said the pollution level in Hanoi is even higher than in Beijing and New Delhi, and that it originates from petroleum products. This kind of pollution is causing more incidences of respiratory disease.

Prof Hoang Xuan Co from the Hanoi University of Natural Sciences said that announcements about environmental issues are based on reports that confirm the air pollution in Hanoi. However, it is unclear if Hanoi is more polluted than Beijing.

It’s too early to conclude that the air quality in the two largest cities of Vietnam is becoming better. The increased number of transport vehicles, construction and industrial activities, and especially the increase in coal-fired power plants near the cities, will continue to create problems.

An air quality monitoring machine is used at the US Embassy in Hanoi. The World Health Organization (WHO) also carries out surveys about the air pollution levels in many countries. A 2016 report said that said China was more polluted than Vietnam.

“Many organizations carry out the measuring of air quality and need to clarify the scientific foundation of the figures they release. It will lead to misunderstanding if the sources of reports are not clarified,” he said.

Meanwhile, Tran Dinh Sinh, deputy director of GreenID, agrees with the information provided by John Kerry. GreenID since 2016 has been releasing reports on the air quality in Vietnam based on PM2.5 dust and air quality index (AQI) collected from the US Embassy in Hanoi and the US General Consulate in HCMC.

GreenID has also installed equipment to measure other areas in Hanoi. It shows results similar to those provided by the station at the embassy.

The GreenID 2016 report said it was twice as much as HCMC. The PM2.5 concentration was 50,5 μg/m3 in Hanoi, double the national permitted level (25 μg/m3), and five times higher than WHO’s recommended level (10 μg/m3).

As for HCMC, the figure was 28.23 μg/m3. The monitoring station at the US Embassy in Hanoi showed the daily PM2.5 concentration at 30.2 μg/m3, while it was18.4 μg/m3 in HCMC.

However, Sinh said, it’s too early to conclude that the air quality in the two largest cities of Vietnam is becoming better. The increased number of transport vehicles, construction and industrial activities, and especially the increase in coal-fired power plants near the cities, will continue to create problems.


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Chi Mai

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