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Vietnam’s major cities choking as pollution exacerbates

Urban areas are polluted by transportation, industrial production and daily activities.

Air pollution in Hanoi
Scenes like this from Hanoi are becoming increasingly common as urban air quality deteriorates.

By Pham Huong

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, July 24, 2017


Air pollution has been getting worse across Vietnam over the past five years, breaching acceptable levels in the country’s major cities, according to a government report released on Thursday.

From 2012-2016, the total suspended particles (TSP) level, which is used to measure the mass concentration of particulate matter (PM) in the air, exceeded safe levels by 2-3 times in Hanoi, Hai Phong, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City, and 1.5-2 times in other cities.

In its air quality guidelines, the World Health Organization says levels of fine particles known as PM2.5 should not be more than 10 micrograms per cubic meter on average over a year, and slightly larger pollutants, called PM10, should not reach more than 20 micrograms per cubic meter on average.

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