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|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Moderate|| 76* US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Thanh Hoa is currently 4.8 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
Moderate 76 AQI US
|Monday, Sep 25|
Moderate 63 AQI US
|Tuesday, Sep 26|
Moderate 71 AQI US
|Wednesday, Sep 27|
Moderate 57 AQI US
|Thursday, Sep 28|
Moderate 60 AQI US
|Friday, Sep 29|
Moderate 63 AQI US
|Saturday, Sep 30|
Moderate 61 AQI US
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Thanh Hoa is the capital city of the province which bears the same name. It is situated on Vietnam’s north-eastern coastline approximately 150 kilometres south of the capital, Hanoi. In 2018 it had a population of over 600,000 people. Towards the end of 2020, the air quality index in Thanh Hoa indicated a US AQI reading of 180, which puts it in the “Unhealthy” category as defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The main pollutant was the PM2.5 particulate with concentrations of 112.3 µg/m³. The WHO suggest levels should be below 10 μg/m³ where possible as these levels pose very little risk to health.
As well as pollution caused by road traffic, another source of pollution in Thanh Hoa comes from industry there. There are three industrial zones in the suburbs at approximately 5 kilometres from the city centre. The 87-hectare site has attracted high-tech companies, manufacture and processing of raw materials from within the province such as from agriculture, forestry and fisheries. Also, mechanical assembly of electronic and telecommunication devices is undertaken here.
Because of its central position, Thanh Hoa is a transportation hub connecting both north-south routes as well as east-west ones. The main north-south railway runs through the city and has the capacity to carry 400 passengers daily. It can also handle 600 tons of goods. Many buses regularly drop off and collect passengers en route to other destinations. There is a small civilian/military airport which provides air transportation services to the city. The city also plans to build a high-tech park in the south in Quang Thinh commune.
There is a port which is located on the Ma River which service the needs of the industries operating in the Le Mon industrial region. Ships are limited to 1,000 tons due to the size of the port.
There are many areas of mineral deposits in the surrounding area such as the Dinh Xa iron ore mine. Quarries for limestone, construction stone and paving stone have estimated reserves of about 44,179,000m3.
Clay which is used in the production of bricks and tiles is plentiful with large reserves in Thanh Hoa city such as Dong Luoc (Dong Huong), Ferry II point (Thieu Duong), and Dong Ngan (Dong Vinh).
As there are no ground-level monitoring stations in Thanh Hoa, most of the statistics are gathered from satellite information.
The air quality will get worse until something is done about it. People need to use public transport more often and stop using their private cars to commute to work each day. The local authorities need to provide public transport that uses clean fuel such as CNG (compressed natural gas) or LPG Liquefied Propane Gas).
Farmers currently burn the straw which is remaining after the crops have been harvested. They do it as a way to prepare the ground for the next crop. There are other ways to do this, but they cost money, so burning straw continues.
A large percentage of households use honeycomb charcoal a cooking fuel. It is very cheap and readily available, almost anywhere. This produces a large amount of deadly fumes which are directly emitted into the house. These are the deadly PM2.5 pollutants as well as black carbon and other carcinogenic compounds.
As a way of improving air quality, the installation of monitoring stations could be considered. Once levels of pollution are known, then something can be done to reduce the dangerous levels. It has been achieved in other cities in Vietnam.
Data needs to be collected from around the industrial zones and analysed. The source of the pollution needs to be identified and a solution found. Many factories have no exhaust filtration systems fitted as their machinery is so old, or it is inefficient. Those factories that use solid fuel as a power source need encouraging to use cleaner, sustainable fuels such as wind or solar energy.
Several monitoring stations were established and the data collected from them by a central, controlling body. Large electronic screens are erected at strategic places throughout the city and information about the current air quality is displayed. Residents can then see how good or bad the air is and make and educated decision as to what they can or cannot do.
In general, people are more aware of their lifestyle and how things around them affect their quality of life. Through the knowledge gained from this new technology, they should no longer be expected to accept substandard conditions.
Different people are affected by air pollution in different ways. It depends on the pollutant and how concentrated it is. It can depend on the length of time a body is exposed to it, and it depends on the health of the individual. A strong, healthy person is much more able to fight off infection when compared to someone who is old and frail.
However, high levels of polluted air can often cause immediate effects under the optimum circumstances. The onset of respiratory illnesses and cardiovascular problems add stress to the heart and lungs as they have to work much harder to attain the required levels of much-needed oxygen. Cells found in the lungs can easily be damaged by PM2.5 and PM10 particulate matter. These particles may contain many noxious chemicals such as smoke, soot, metals, nitrates, sulphates, dust, water, tyre rubber and even fine dust produced when motor vehicles use their brakes and the brake pads start to wear down. PM2.5 are especially dangerous as they can easily be inhaled and enter the lungs where they can cause a lot of health problems.
Long-term exposure can lead to the acceleration of the ageing process in the lungs which then lose some of their capacity and ability to function normally. This becomes noticeable with the onslaught of asthma attacks, bronchitis and emphysema.