Skip to main content

Air quality readings exceeded safety limits - a risk of respiratory diseases

The air quality in Ho Chi Minh City has fallen below safety thresholds after air monitoring revealed an increase in fine dust volume. This poses a risk to public health, as the accumulation of dust particles in the air can cause respiratory issues.

An investigation conducted by the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Natural Resources and Environment revealed levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) that exceeded the prescribed safety limit of 50 g/m3 over a 24-hour period, and 25 g/m3 over one year, while the set limits by the World Health Organization are only 25 and 10.

In September, the amount of particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5) in the air reached a high of 52 parts per million (ppm). This increased to 59 ppm in October and further increased to 66 ppm in November.

Particulate matter (PM2.5) emitted by vehicles, industries and natural sources such as dust is able to easily infiltrate lung tissues and enter the bloodstream, leading to adverse health outcomes.

"Most places where PM2.5 has exceeded the limit are high-density traffic circles and areas where large trucks usually pass."

- Nguyen Hieu Hoa, Department of Natural Resources and Environment official

At the end of the year, he noted that there is typically a surge in traffic volume to accommodate the expanding market and travel requirements.

From the beginning of November to the end of December, the city often experiences fog in the early morning hours, which has been known to combine with airborne dust particles and produce smog that can be visibly seen.

Truong Huu Khanh, an epidemiologist, warned that fine dust particles can penetrate deep into the lungs of individuals, leading to conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and allergic rhinitis.

The expert suggested that in certain circumstances, the virus could invade the alveoli and gain access to the circulatory system.

It is commonly recommended that individuals wear masks during early morning hours in order to protect their respiratory system, particularly for those who go to school or work.

The speaker suggested increasing resistance through physical activity and a healthy diet, emphasizing the importance of consuming protein and vitamins, particularly Vitamin C.

However, the doctor advised against the use of antibiotics to self-medicate for respiratory disease symptoms.

According to a report released in April by the World Health Organization (WHO), 13 million people around the world die annually due to environmental causes, with more than seven million attributed to pollution.

In 2018, it was reported that over 60,000 deaths each year in Vietnam are attributed to air pollution.

Source: VnExpress