The results were announced at the National Scientific Conference of Vietnam Public Health Association with the participation of 300 domestic and foreign delegates.
An air quality monitoring project has been implemented in HCMC with six stations placed at key traffic points over the past 20 years. Another nine automatic stations were placed inside the city to measure the concentration of NO2, CO, dust and sound pollution along with radioactivity, toluene, xylene and benzene.
The results showed that the air pollution in the city has worsened.
In the dry season, dust concentrations were recorded at 1.47mg/m3, five times the national safe level, while 45% of the results on NO2 concentrations and 67% of the results on benzene concentration also exceed national standards.
Associate Professor, Ph.D. Nguyen Dinh Tuan said HCMC is mostly polluted by benzene, NO2 and dust. Though the concentration of lead in the residential areas is lower than allowable national standards, it is still higher than many other countries’ standards.
Fuel could be the main cause for this pollution since HCMC currently has about 447,000 cars, five million motorbikes and 60,000 cars from other provinces. Frequent traffic congestion throughout the city also adds to the severe air pollution.
Though the dangers of air pollution are well known, such as respiratory diseases and lung cancer, they are still ignored by many people due to the lack of domestic research and clear links between air pollution and diseases.