Experts have warned of the increasingly alarming health risks brought about by fine dust pollution in Ho Chi Minh City, with smog blanketing the metropolis over the past days.
According to Air Visual, a United States-based website, Air Quality Index (AQI) in Ho Chi Minh City was recorded as 128 on Monday morning.
An AQI between 101 and 150 is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups, namely children and the elderly.
PM2.5 concentration, or atmospheric particulate matter (PM) that has a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers, was measured as 16µg per cubic meter indoor and 26 µg per cubic meter outdoor.
Meanwhile, the recommended level is only 10 µg per cubic meter.
PM2.5 is the most dangerous contaminant to human health, even at low concentrations, as it can easily enter deep into the human body due to its microscopic size, according to the World Health Organization.
|Air Quality Index provided by Air visual. Photo: Xuan Mai / Tuoi Tre|
Fine dust can prevent hemoglobin in blood from combining with oxygen, resulting in such problems as irritation of the eyes, nose, throat and lungs, as well as coughing, sneezing, and respiratory diseases, Dr. Vu Xuan Dan, an official from the municipal Department of Health, elaborated.
PM2.5 is often found in road dust, industrial dust, dust from indoor activities, and dust from the ocean, Dr. Dan elaborated.
In order to minimize the impact of air pollution on one’s health, people should avoid contact with sources of pollution and should not engage in physical activities in dusty environments.
Wearing specialized gauze masks is necessary in places with a high concentration of dust, he added.
Ho Chi Minh City has also been engulfed in smog since Saturday due to the combination of high humidity brought about by continuous rainfall and dust particles.
Residents have been advised to cover their face while outside as protection from toxins that can circulate in the air.