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Rising odor, air pollution terrorize Ho Chi Minh City residents

Monday, October 10, 2016, 16:03 GMT+7

People in Ho Chi Minh City live in an increasingly polluted environment, exposing themselves to a variety of respiratory diseases and other health risks.

Odor and air pollution in the southern hub have worsened on a daily basis, threatening the lives and well-being of local residents.

The University Medical Center Ho Chi Minh City has reported a rising number of patients with respiratory illnesses arising from their regular exposure to contamination in the city.

N.C.T., 43, living in District 2, was diagnosed with edema and nasal mucosa congestion resulting from the negative effects of dust and vehicle exhaust.

According to the patient, the road in front of her house was under renovation about a month ago, creating a large volume of smoke and dust.

Another victim, 60-year-old Pham Thi Lan from Da Phuoc Commune, Binh Chanh District, said the stink released from the Da Phuoc Waste Treatment Complex, about 150 meters from her house, has given her chronic headaches.

Lan and her son have lived with the smell for years, at times less disturbing than at others, the woman stated, saying that they had to wear gauze masks even while sleeping at night.

A large number of residents in the southern region have also reported the negative impact of the stench on their lives.

According to doctors, those who live around such levels of pollution often experience insomnia and mental stress, followed by a series of illnesses.

People breathing in a considerable amount of unpleasant odor can also become dizzy and disoriented, Phan Quoc Bao, a Vietnamese doctor, said, adding that germs and viruses within the stench also pose potential health risks.

Dr. Bao considered psychological problems the most severe impact of odor pollution.

Professor Nguyen Duy Thinh added that other symptoms brought about by a regular intake of bad odor include nausea, breathing difficulties, and impacts on the mental and respiratory system.

According to Pham Kien Huu, head of the ENT Department at the University Medical Center, odor and air pollutants can be absorbed by the human body via breathing and through the skin.

A contaminated atmosphere can cause temporary and long-term effects on the patients, with elderly people more susceptible to more serious diseases.

The shorter-term impacts include allergic reactions, nasal and throat infections, pneumonia, headaches, nausea, and others, Dr. Huu elaborated.

Permanent consequences could include chronic respiratory diseases, lung cancer, heart disease, damage to the brain, nervous system and other internal organs, the doctor continued.

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