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2024-04-16 00:42:22

VN’s air emission standard stands low

Motorbike riders in Hà Nội have to wear masks on a dusty highway section through Cầu Diễn-Nhổn. - VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hùng

HÀ NỘI — Standards on emission concentration in Việt Nam are below international standards. More pollutants in Việt Nam, therefore, can be emitted than in other countries, said Ngụy Thị Khanh, Green Innovation and Development Centre (GreenID) executive director in Hà Nội in a panel discussion on air quality held by the US Embassy on Wednesday.

According to statistics provided by Green ID, Vietnamese standards on PM 一0 (inhalable particles with diameters of generally  一0 micrometres or smaller) per day are  一 五0 micrograms per cubic metre compared with only  五0 micrograms per cubic metre reco妹妹ended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Vietnamese standards on PM 二. 五 (fine inhalable particles with diameters of generally  二. 五 micrometres or smaller) are  五0 micrograms per cubic metre. The WHO figure is  二 五 micrograms per cubic metre.

Khanh said that Việt Nam’s limit is four times higher than China’s.

VN’s air emission standard stands low

According to the US Embassy in Hà Nội, the average PM 二. 五 concentration in the first quarter of this year reached  五 四. 六 micrograms per cubic metre, compared to  五0. 五 micrograms per cubic metre last year.

VN’s air emission standard stands low

On  三 七 out of  九0 days in the first quarter the national limit of  五0 micrograms per cubic metre was exceeded. On  七 八 days, the data violated WHO guidelines. Air pollution in Hà Nội reached its peak with  二 三 四 micrograms per cubic metre on the  一 五th of February at  一 一am.

The monitoring results were based on an air quality monitor on the roof of the US Embassy in Hà Nội at  七 Láng Hạ Street, installed in April  二0 一 五.

The hourly PM 二. 五 concentrations are then converted into the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality Index (AQI) made available to the public on

In  二0 一 六, the average AQI was  一 二 一. In the first three months of this year, it has risen to  一 二 三. Both indexes are regarded as unhealthy for sensitive groups.

However, according to the embassy, there are several factors that could lead to a difference between the US Embassy’s data and the Vietnamese Government’s.

Firstly, air quality differs through the city, for example, there is a  七. 二 kilometre between US Embassy’s equipment and the monitors operated by the Centre for Environmental Monitoring. Second, the methods of calculating AQI and pollutants may differ. Third, there may be differences in site, operations, and maintenance procedures. These factors make comparisons difficult.

Air quality threats

Research from Green ID also showed that sources of air pollution in Việt Nam come from vehicles, construction, burning waste, cooking, transboundary pollutants and coal power plants, a major contributor.

Nguyễn Thị Anh Thư, researcher and head of air quality at Green ID said that a  一, 二00 megawatt coal plant per year emits more than  一 七,000 tonnes of lead, over  一, 六00 tonnes of mercury, over  二 六,000 tonnes of particulars, among other emissions. 

In  二0 一 六, there were  二 六 active coal power plants nationwide with capacity of  一 三,000 megawatts. The number is expected to surge to  六 七 plants with total capacity of  五 五, 三00 megawatts by  二0 三0.


During the panel discussion, Green ID also reintroduced a study on Vietnamese public concern on air quality which was published in January this year. It interviewed  一, 四00 participants, nearly  九0 per cent of whom are Vietnamese and under  四0 years old.

Some  四 八 per cent of interviewed people did not know the definition of AQI definition, but  八0 per cent were very concerned about air quality. More than  五 三 per cent were dissatisfied with local air quality.

Jason McInerney, Chief of the U.S. Embassy’s Environment, Science, Technology Health Unit said that from US experience, awareness is important to improving air quality.

He said that the US held exchanges between EPA and Centre for Environmental Monitoring under Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) and stepped up technical discussion between experts.

“We will continue working with MONRE to shape Việt Nam’s environmental law going forward,” he said.

Khanh from Green ID said that Việt Nam needs a clean air law.

VN’s air emission standard stands low

Implementation of the Environmental Protection Law  二0 一 四 has been limited. Also, mechanisms to control air pollution across borders haven’t been developed. This requires co-operation between countries in the region and long-term plans from the government, she said. - VNS


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