Solid waste discharges to Phan Rí Cửa beach, Tuy Phong District, Bình Thuận Province. — Photo zing.vn Thu Vân Years of rapid economic development have left Việt Nam with negative externalities – noise and poor air quality arising from pollution and road congestion. Pollution was once accepted as the inevitable by-product of industrial development and promoted as economic progress. After World War II, eager for any sort of industrial development, governor of the US’ state of Alabama, George Wallace, described the odour from a local paper mill as “the smell of prosperity”. Public attitudes have changed significantly since then. Clean air to breathe is now recognised by the United Nations and others as a universal human right, essential to physical well-being. In 2016, the World Health Organisation (WHO) labeled air pollution a global public health emergency. It seems like we have too many emergencies here in Việt Nam. Việt Nam now ranks among the 10 countries with the world’s worst air pollution. Its biggest cities, including Hà Nội and HCM City, are reported to have dangerous levels of fine particulate matter. Annual average air pollution in Hà Nội in 2017 was four times higher than that deemed acceptable by WHO’s air… Read full this story
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