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|Air pollution level
|Air quality index
| 79 US AQI
PM2.5 concentration in Viet Tri is currently 5.1 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Sunday, Feb 25
Good 38 AQI US
|Monday, Feb 26
Moderate 63 AQI US
|Tuesday, Feb 27
Good 43 AQI US
Moderate 79 AQI US
|Thursday, Feb 29
Moderate 98 AQI US
|Friday, Mar 1
Moderate 76 AQI US
|Saturday, Mar 2
Moderate 97 AQI US
|Sunday, Mar 3
Unhealthy for sensitive groups 126 AQI US
|Monday, Mar 4
Unhealthy for sensitive groups 138 AQI US
|Tuesday, Mar 5
Unhealthy for sensitive groups 114 AQI US
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Viet Tri is the capital city of the Phu Tho province and is situated in northern Vietnam. I 2010 the population was over a quarter of a million people. It is approximately 70 kilometres from the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi. It is known locally as the “City of Confluence” due to its position at the confluence of three rivers; the Lo River, the Red River and the Black River. It was one of the first northern cities to show its potential as an industrial hub.
Towards the end of 2020 the IQAir measurements showed the air quality to be “Good” with a figure of 44 US AQI. This falls within the recommendations by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Other pollutants recorded at this time were PM2.5 with a concentration of 10.7 µg/m³, PM10 was 11.5 µg/m³, ground-level ozone was found to be 36.1 µg/m³ and nitrogen dioxide was 13.1 µg/m³. With figures at these levels, the advice is to open the windows and doors and enjoy the fresh air entering the house and enjoy outdoor activities, too.
As is the case with most large cities, the main source of air pollution is from the traffic using its roads. And as an industrial centre, there are many factories and production units including chemicals, paper and apparel, together with a steel plant and a shipyard. There are four large industrial zones located in and around Viet Tri.
Being situated in such a key location at the confluence of three rivers, in recent years a lot of investment has been made in the upgrading of the road and rail network. Many of the older roads are being upgraded through widening. This creates a lot of dust which adds to the poor air quality.
According to monitoring results in the first 3 months of 2020, in urban areas in the North, air quality underwent a lot of changes due to strong weather impacts. Statistics show that Hanoi had 43 days with the daily average PM2.5 value exceeding the permitted standard limit, whilst Viet Tri and Ha Long had just 6 days.
The highest dust parameter was found in the trade and service centre of Gia Cam ward at 0.81 mg / m3, which exceeds the recommended limit by 2.7 times; air samples from the area behind Phu Tho Provincial General Hospital were 0.69 mg / m3, which exceed the limit by 2.3 times. In the craft villages in zone 3, Hung Lo and Phuong Lau 2, Phuong Lau, dust parameters exceed the permitted threshold of 1.63 times and 1.83 times respectively.
According to the representative of the Environmental Protection Department, the process of urbanization is taking place in many places with construction activities, urban embellishment, road traffic improvement, drainage and construction activities. Building infrastructure for urban areas also increases the number of vehicles in use and has caused resonant pollution to the surrounding air environment.
The reason is that in the production process, dust and toxic gases are generated, and currently, the level of investment in waste gas treatment systems generated by businesses is not consistent as businesses only pay attention to waste dust treatment and often have dust filtration systems but no treatment system or comprehensive emissions management. Small production facilities and low capacity furnaces do not have proper investment in exhaust gas treatment, so the generated exhaust gas resonates, causing air pollution in the surrounding areas.
The consequences of being subject to polluted air depends on the state of a person’s health. A strong young person is going to be less affected than an older person or one who is already suffering from respiratory problems. It also depends on the concentration of the pollutants and the length of exposure to them.
Individuals who are suffering from heart disease, coronary artery disease or congestive heart failure or who are prone to asthma attacks will be affected far sooner and by much smaller concentrations than others. Pregnant women and children under the age of 14 years must take extra precautions such as wearing a good quality face mask when venturing outside when the levels of pollution are higher than normal. Senior citizens and outdoor workers need to take special care too.
Many of the factories have dust filtration systems fitted but have no way of safely treating the collected particles. Most of the older factories have no emission management system in place, so the emissions are unmonitored.
The construction industry needs to shield the demolition process so that the resultant dust is kept within their working perimeters. Spraying water over the area at regular intervals will also prevent the dust from entering the airstream.
Some local city councils are considering the complete ban of vehicles of more than 15 years old from entering the city centre. They have not been fitted with the latest technology to keep emissions within a safe level. The latest motorbikes are equipped with anti-idling technology which turns off the engine when forward motion is no longer detected. This is very useful as it prevents unnecessary fumes entering the environment around busy junctions whilst the rider is waiting for the traffic signals to change. Monitoring stations which have been set up near busy intersections consistently record much higher levels of air pollution in these congested areas.
The local government could invest in newer forms of public transport which uses cleaner, renewable energy or Electric Vehicles (EV) within the city centre. Residents could also be encouraged to use public transport more often than their own private vehicles.
Many homes and small businesses use the ubiquitous honeycomb charcoal briquettes for cooking. These produce a large quantity of PM2.5 pollutants and also black carbon (BC) or soot. This pollution id emitted directly into the home environment. It will be very difficult to persuade people to stop using this as a means of cooking as it is so cheap in comparison to LPG or electricity.