Air pollution is your silent killer

Air pollution has been causing chronic lung and respiratory diseases, or evenly death in major cities, including those in Vietnam. As the result of economic growth in the Red River delta, the Ho Chi Minh City area, and the upper reaches of the Mekong Delta, where industrial production and construction activities are surging, both public and private air quality monitoring projects have indicated levels of pollution that exceed both national and international guidelines for what is “safe”.“The number of deaths caused by air pollution is four times higher than of those caused by traffic accidents, which is about 11,000 per year,” said Le Viet Phu, an economic expert from Fulbright University Vietnam. “It is expected that the annual number of deaths due to air pollution will rise to over 100,000 by 2035,” Le added.People in Vietnam do care about air conditions, a survey, conducted December 25, 2017 to January 10, 2018, revealed. More than 1,000 people in Hanoi participated in the survey. 99 percent of respondents were concerned about their air quality.Many people are lacking in basic air-quality-related knowledge, a different survey, conducted by local NGO GreenID, indicated. Specifically, 43.1 percent of respondents didn’t know about the air quality index (AQI). Only 12 percent said they checked AQI.AQI is a globally-adopted standard that was developed by the Environmental Protection Agency, a US government unit. AQI helps people navigate the levels pollutants that are associated with increasing health concerns. The higher the AQI value, the greater the level of pollution and resulting impacts on health.“I don’t know about it [AQI],” said Mr. Nguyen Van Chuc, 58, a builder in Hanoi. “No one instructed me to protect myself from air pollution. My sole measure to protect myself is using masks. What I need the most now, is to be able to breathe easier, and stop my cough,” he added.As cities grow, the resulting increase in human activity will cause pollution to become even more severe. Waiting for communities to find measures to reduce pollution will take time. In the US it took 20 years of law reform, enforcement, and public awareness to clean up the air of some of its major cities. Pollution is also caused by nature, such as forest fires and volcanoes. One thing’s for sure, air quality will always be an important issue.To protect yourself, the measures are simple and economical. Firstly broaden your knowledge on this issue and find your own direct solutions. It could include: Monitoring the outdoor air where you live, work, and play using official government and/or crowd-sourced aqi data, like aqi.vn. Using an effective mask if you go out on high-pollution days. Most popular “surgical” and cloths masks are not at all effective. Certified, PM2.5 rated masks are much more effective in protecting you.Monitor and purify the indoor air where you live, work, study, and play. For home, purchase a certified HEPA air purifiers, beware of “air purifiers” which are not effective or not having enough capacity for the size(s) of your room(s). For business (work, study, or gym), ask the manager to monitor and purify their air. If you live in Hanoi, you can ask the business owners / managers to apply to the Air Quality Monitoring Project, a project aiming to install 80 monitors for free in every central Hanoi district. Businesses can purify their air with air purificaiton sollutions from Puritrak.

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