Lao health ministry warns of dangerous air pollution


VIENTIANE: Laos' Ministry of Health is urging citizens to take steps to safeguard their health as air pollution soars to harmful levels across the country.

The concentration of fine dust, known as PM 2.5, which is particulate matter with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers, surpasses the safety level, according to a report from the ministry's Center of Information and Education for Health on Tuesday (April 23).

Air quality index levels beyond 101, the mark considered unhealthy for sensitive groups, have been reported in many provinces across Laos.

Data registered on Tuesday morning showed that the air quality index in northern Laos' Xayaboury province reached a very unhealthy level, with the PM 2.5 concentration hitting 229 micrograms per cubic metre.

The provinces of Oudomxay, Bolikhamxay, and Champasak witnessed a very unhealthy level of the PM 2.5 concentration exceeding 210 micrograms per cubic metre.

In addition, the PM 2.5 concentration in Lao capital Vientiane exceeded an unhealthy 120 micrograms per cubic metre.

The Lao Ministry of Health urged the people, particularly those in high-risk groups, to take note of the local air pollution level, do their part to reduce harmful emissions as much as possible, and take steps to protect their health. - Xinhua

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