HCMC – Hanoi ranked second and HCMC 15th among the worst cities for air pollution in Southeast Asia, Thanh Nien newspaper reported, citing a recent report by the nongovernmental environmental organization GreenPeace.
The air quality in HCMC is mostly between the yellow and orange levels on the air quality measurement scale, which means it is moderately unhealthy for sensitive groups, including children, active adults, the elderly, pregnant women and people with respiratory diseases.
There are two main seasons in the southern city: monsoon and dry weather. During the rainy season, the air usually becomes fresher, especially after downpours, as air pollutants are washed away. The city’s air quality only worsens at the year-end when the rains stop.
In recent days, with the dry season underway, smog often polluted the air, triggering health concerns among local residents.
Meanwhile, air pollution recorded in the capital city of Hanoi is much worse than that in HCMC.
The GreenPeace report showed that for three months (January, February and November) last year, Hanoi’s air quality was put on red alert. At this level, people categorized into sensitive groups must avoid staying outdoors for too long, while regular people are advised to limit prolonged outdoor exertion as well.
In addition, the air quality in Hanoi during March, April, October and December was at the orange level, which may badly affect the health of those in sensitive groups.
For up to seven months of 2018 the air quality in the capital was reportedly unhealthy for the local residents, but it was not good during the remaining months either, according to the report.
Air pollution recorded in different parts of Hanoi was even worse. Air quality was at the purple level for many days, which means it was extremely unhealthy and everyone could experience more serious health problems, according to air quality measurement results issued by the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi and the Green Innovation and Development Center.
Also, air pollution has negatively affected the country’s economy, equivalent to a five-to-seven-percent decline in the gross domestic product, stated Dr. Le Viet Phu from Fullbright University.
He added that while Vietnam does not have to improve its air quality in line with global standards, it has to control its air quality based on the country’s standards, which are less rigid than those of the World Health Organization. Doing so could considerably reduce the negative effects of air pollution in the country.