Environmental monitoring devices at 30 spots in HCMC revealed that the volume of air pollutants have surged sharply, creating the heavy smog hanging over the city in recent days.
The Center for Environment and Natural Resources Monitoring, under the HCMC Department of Natural Resources and Environment, has released a report on the city’s air quality from September 3 to 23.
The center recorded a sharp increase in the volume of these air pollutants between September 18 and 20.
September 20 alone saw the volume of fine dust more than doubling, while that of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and carbon monoxide (CO) both rose significantly as well.
In particular, coarse dust particles (PM10), 2.5-10 micrometers in diameter, and fine particles (PM2.5), 2.5 micrometers in diameter or smaller, more than doubled. The inhalation of these participles is associated with many heath problems.
Besides this, the air pollution in the city was also caused by an active combination of a tropical convergence zone and a cold air front, which resulted in cloudy skies and little sunshine.
Alongside low temperatures and intermittent rains on a wide scale, high humidity and precipitation contributed to the formation of smog.
The monitoring center also refuted a claim that forest fires in Indonesia had been part of the cause of the city’s air pollution.
Smog occurs annually in September and October in HCMC. The phenomenon is called photochemical smog.
To cushion the adverse impact of the air pollution, the center advised the locals, especially children, pregnant women and the elderly, to avoid going outdoors or taking part in outdoor activities. If they have to go out, they should wear masks and eyeglasses to protect themselves.
Further, people should use eyedrops and nose washes, avoid hanging clothes outside and avoid using rainwater. SGT
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Meteorologists are debating the cause of the thick fog that has blanketed HCM City and some southern provinces in recent days, which has triggered concerns of residents about worsening air quality.