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Pollution threatening northern provinces

Released at: 15:56, 13/10/2015

Pollution threatening northern provinces

Air pollution from China to roll into northern provinces with winter monsoon on horizon.

by Son Ho

After conducting research and monitoring in nine provinces, including Hanoi, Vinh Phuc and northern border provinces, the Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Climate Change at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has said that the north of the country is being significantly affected by air pollution originating from China.

Its results show that the level of air pollution during the winter in the north is primarily affected by emissions from China, local media reported. In the concentration of air pollutants in the north, the impact from China contributes about 55 per cent of SO2, 48 per cent of NO2, and 30 per cent of CO.

The pollution reaches Vietnam because of the northeast monsoon, which brings polluted air from China down into the northern region of Vietnam. During the summer the southwest monsoon and southeast monsoon prevent polluted air rolling in from the north.

The effects of pollution from China on northern Vietnam are yet to be clearly shown but have started to appear in border provinces. Research shows that in January, when the northeast monsoon is at its strongest, Lang Son and Lao Cai, though not having much economic activity, have higher SO2 levels than in Hanoi and twice as much as in Ho Chi Minh City.

Foreign research also shows that the amount of SO2 in Vietnam is close to thresholds under European standards and that over 50 per cent of the SO2 in northern Vietnam originates from China. In China, the amount of SO2 can be triple the European threshold.

SO2, NO2 and CO are poisonous gases coming from gasoline, burning straw, and untreated plant emissions. Inhaling the poisonous gases for a long period will slowly destroy a person’s respiratory system.

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