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Hanoi ranked as world’s 3rd most polluted city

Hanoi ranked as world’s 3rd most polluted city

Sunday, December 03, 2023, 18:05 GMT+7
Hanoi ranked as world’s 3rd most polluted city
High-rise buildings in Hanoi are blanketed in smog, December 3, 2023: Photo: Hong Quang / Tuoi Tre

Hanoi took third place among the global cities with the worst air quality on Sunday morning, just after the two Pakistani cities of Lahore and Karachi, according to data released by Swiss-based air quality technology company IQAir.

The Vietnamese capital was shrouded in a blanket of smog just after the air quality improved a bit a few days earlier thanks to rain and monsoon winds.

The air quality index (AQI) reached 167 at 9:00 am at a monitoring station located at 556 Nguyen Van Cu Street in Long Bien District.

Early on Sunday morning, the Pollution Control Department, under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, reported that the AQI stayed at 133 at 6:00 am before rising to 151, 162, and hitting 167 at 9:00 am.

Considering the poor air quality, individuals in good health may encounter health effects, while those belonging to sensitive groups may experience more severe health issues, the Pollution Control Department said.

Similarly, the AQI was measured at 167 at a monitoring station in the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi.

Meanwhile, the reading topped 181 citywide at United Nations International School in Tay Ho District.

An AQI ranging from 151 to 200 is categorized as 'unhealthy,' while an AQI between 201 and 300 falls into the 'very unhealthy' range. A reading exceeding 300 is deemed 'hazardous.'

Hanoi ranked third among the world’s most polluted cities on December 3, 2023. Photo: IQAir

Hanoi ranked third among the world’s most polluted cities on December 3, 2023. Photo: IQAir

In response to the deteriorating air quality, the Pollution Control Department has urged environmental authorities across the nation to implement stringent measures aimed at controlling activities that contribute to the release of gas and dust emissions.

According to data gathered from various monitoring stations nationwide, air pollution has been escalating in several northern localities, with Hanoi being particularly affected.

This trend is likely to have repercussions on public health and socio-economic activities, as reported by the department.

Besides, the influence of seasonal changes enhances the likelihood of dispersing air pollutants, especially particulate matter such as PM10 and fine particulate matter like PM2.5.

The department has instructed environmental authorities nationwide to heighten the frequency of air monitoring, maintain continuous operation of monitoring stations, and simultaneously publish monitoring results on their respective websites.

This approach aims to provide accessible data for relevant agencies and media outlets to formulate recommendations on how the public, especially those engaging in outdoor activities between 5:00 am - 7:00 am and 2:00 pm - 7:00 pm, can protect their health.

Local authorities have to closely monitor sources of gas emissions, including at sites for waste incineration, straw burning, and disposal of agricultural by-products, as well as construction sites and manufacturing facilities.

The forces have to call on local residents not to burn solid waste, straw, and agricultural by-products to reduce gas emissions, while asking developers of traffic and infrastructure projects to adopt measures to minimize gas and dust emissions within their areas of operation.

Nguyen Ngoc Hong, head of the department of occupational lung diseases at the National Lung Hospital in Hanoi, advises individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other respiratory illnesses to avoid venturing out during periods of poor air quality.

For healthy people, they should wear masks and eyeglasses when traveling on the road to protect themselves from dust and smoke, Hong said.

Those with chronic, cardiovascular, respiratory, and underlying diseases should visit medical centers for a check-up if symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath get worse, the National Lung Hospital recommended.

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Hong Ngan - Hong Quang / Tuoi Tre News

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