Vietnam's capital city Hanoi moves to improve air quality

HANOI, Feb 25 (Xinhua): Vietnam's capital city Hanoi has aimed to improve air quality by tackling home-grown pollution and reducing negative impacts from neighboring provinces, Vietnam News has reported.

With a third of emissions being generated within Hanoi and the rest from nearby areas and other natural sources, the city's natural resources and environment regulator is looking to work with other provincial authorities on air quality improvement.

In 2015, 40 percent of the capital's population was breathing air with dangerous PM2.5 particles at average annual concentrations twice the national limit and many times higher than the World Health Organization (WHO)'s recommendations, according to a survey by the World Bank.

The WHO recommends an air quality standard for PM2.5 of no higher than 5 micrograms per cubic meter.

Particulate matter is the most hazardous airborne pollutant. At only 2.5 microns wide or less, PM2.5 particles can lodge deep inside the lungs.

Prolonged exposure to PM2.5 can lead to deadly diseases, including cancer and cardiac problems.

"We have not compiled 2023 data, but given the high urbanization rate, we believe the city's current PM2.5 levels would be much higher than those of 7-8 years ago," Nguyen Thi Le Thu, a World Bank officer, said at a conference with the local government.

Besides addressing external influences, the Hanoi government has targeted emissions from vehicles, the biggest PM2.5 source in the city, and urge residents to stop burning poor-quality hard coal both outdoor and indoor.

Environment experts also recommend banning crop residue burning, developing a sustainable management system, reducing ammonia emissions from heavily fertilized fields and livestock waste, and regulating coal-fired power plants and manufacturing plants in line with the Vietnamese government's pledge to become carbon neutral by 2050. - Xinhua

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Vietnam , Hanoi , Clean Air , Campaign , Programme


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