return icon

Why is air quality in Vietnam getting worse?

Dr Hoang Duong Tung, Chairman of the Vietnam Clean Air Partnership and former vice-general director of the Vietnam Environmental Administration, has said that improving air quality must not be delayed.
The major cause behind air pollution in Hanoi is emissions from transport.

Air pollution and fine dust is a cross-border issue with no limit in space and time, he said. Emissions can originate from one locality but another locality may suffer as materials in the air are moving constantly.

“Fine dust originates from production activities, the burning of straw and domestic waste, and dust from construction sites, industrial workshops and thermal power. It is called primary dust. The situation has existed for a long time and will never end because production activities are maintained in society."

According to Tung, foreign investors strictly follow regulations set by the State and by themselves.  Construction sites are installed with supervision tools to measure noise, dust and vibrations, and data are sent to appropriate agencies.

The cost of the installation of the equipment is not high and is

considered as an input production cost.

Besides, many other supervision tools exist, including transport camera systems, vehicle dashcams and cameras at people’s homes. These help management agencies easily track down subjects that cause pollution.

The question is why mountainous areas such as Cao Bang and Bac Kan still have extremely poor air quality some time, even though they don’t have many factories or construction works and have a lower number of vehicles compared with large cities.

Tung said that pollution depends on many factors, including the burning of waste, agricultural by-products and forest fires.

In some localities, the volume of domestic waste is not big enough to build waste treatment plans and waste-to-electricity plants, and the solution they choose is building an incinerator in each commune. This needs to be reconsidered.

In 2019, the number of days with extremely poor air quality in Hanoi accounted for over 30 percent of total monitored days. Of these, fine dust (PM2.5) is the most dangerous as it can penetrate deeply into human lungs, and affect the respiratory and vascular systems.

The major cause behind air pollution in Hanoi is emissions from transport (there are 6 million motorbikes and 800,000 cars in Hanoi), industrial production activities at factories and craft villages, urban construction and the burning of straw after harvests.

Hanoi in recent years has experienced rapid growth and the entire city is like a construction site, causing high sources of dust.

Weather is not the cause behind pollution, but it is a factor that leads to an increase or reduction of dust concentration spread by human activities.

Noting that state management agencies have been perfecting the legal framework on management of pollution, Hung said it is necessary to concretize legal documents to be sure that they can be brought into life, which serves as a foundation for officials to implement their tasks.

Vietnam now has one code, one degree and one circular related to environmental protection. 

Many measures have been applied and legal documents have been issued to control sources of waste. There is also the PM’s Decision 985a approving the national action plan on air quality management by 2020, with a vision towards 2025.

However, according to Tung, the application of measures to minimize pollution has been slow and not very effective.

The Prime Minister, for example, some years ago released a decision on controlling motorbike emissions, but the problem has not been solved because enforcement is not strict. Farmers are asked not to burn straw, but burning occurs daily, while chimneys at production workshops in craft villages still emit smoke into the air.

He said that it is necessary to strictly control emissions of 25 coal-fired thermo-power plants and plants to be built in the future, the emissions of 60 cement plants, and the same number of steel mills. It is also necessary to handle craft villages that recycle paper, metal and plastics, and crack down on straw burning. Only when comprehensive measures are applied will the problem be solved. 

Since 1990, Vietnam has had an automatic monitoring system in association with periodic monitoring, and taking of samples for analysis at laboratories. This shows that the country is aware of the importance of air monitoring to obtain data and assess air quality.

However, after many years, the air monitoring system still has not developed as expected. There are only seven national monitoring stations. Hanoi, BacNinh and QuangNinh have installed monitoring stations, but data from the stations are not shared.

Kien Trung


Autumn on Con Dao

Con Dao is at its peaceful and charming best in the early days of autumn, with clear blue water and romantic sunset.

Digital content firms are at disadvantage in international lawsuits

Many enterprises say that Vietnam lacks effective tools to fight unhealthy competition. There are legal documents to cover the issue but it is difficult to apply and enforce them.

MPI: Growth scenario in 2023 of about 6.5 percent

Assessing that difficulties and advantages will be inextricably intertwined in 2023 but the difficulties will far overweigh the advantages.

HCMC welcomes first group of cruise ship tourists after Covid-19 pandemic

The Saigon Port Joint Stock Company, in collaboration with the Department of Tourism of Ho Chi Minh City and some units, on October 2, held a ceremony to welcome the luxury cruise ship Le Laperouse of Ponant (France).


Investigations on corruption cases to expand: official

Rock tales in Ganh Yen

Ganh Yen is located along the fishing village of Thanh Thuy in Binh Hai Commune, Binh Son District, Quang Ngai Province.


GDP growth to hit 8% this year in base-case scenario: Official

Doan Thien An crowned Miss Grand Vietnam 2022

Doan Thien An, 22-year-old beauty from the Mekong Delta province of Long An, was crowned Miss Grand Vietnam 2022 after surpassing 49 other contestants at the pageant finale in Ho Chi Minh City on October 1.

Vietnam’s GDP growth to be among the highest in SE as int’l organisations forecast

Vietnam’s GDP growth in 2022 and 2023 will be among the highest in Southeast Asian as shown in many international organisations’ forecasts and assessments on the Vietnamese economic outlook.

Amid global unrest, VN billionaires incur huge losses

Despite good news about the economy, including high growth rate and low inflation, stock prices have been sliding all over the globe.

Vietnam needs to expand airport network to relieve pressure on infrastructure

Vietnam ranks No.1 on the list of the 25 countries with the fastest post-pandemic recovery of the domestic aviation market.

Binh Duong lures foreign investors with special care

The southern province of Binh Duong has taken the lead for foreign direct investment (FDI) attraction thanks to its methods of taking care of investors.

Securities under pressure from external risks

Although the US Federal Reserve (FED) raised the interest rate in the hope of reducing inflationary pressure, it has come as a shock to see a rise in the core US inflation data, despite falling oil prices.

Unemployment rate falls, workers' incomes increase

According to the General Statistics Office's Report, the labor and employment situation in the third quarter of 2022 continued to recover.

The most expensive birds in Vietnam

Red-whiskered bulbs (Pycnonotus jocosus) with original colors are priced at VND500 million and tiny chickens with original colors sell for thousands of USD.