France helps Hanoi with air quality assessment

Wednesday, 2017-10-18 11:32:16
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Chairman Nguyen Duc Chung (R) and French Ambassador to Vietnam Bertrand Lortholary (Photo: Hanoimoi)
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NDO/VNA – Hanoi will roll out action programmes and plans to improve the air quality in the city based on the outcomes of a French-funded air quality assessment project, stated a municipal leader.

Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung made the statement at a reception for French Ambassador to Vietnam Bertrand Lortholary, Director of Airparif Frederic Bouvier, and Director of the French Development Agency (AFD) in Vietnam Fabrice Richy in Hanoi, on October 17.

During the meeting, the two sides reviewed the one-year-old project, under which air monitoring stations were set up throughout Hanoi.

Chung called on Airparif, the agency in charge of monitoring air quality in Ile-de-France, to improve the quality of the monitoring stations, while publicising air quality assessments.

In September, Green Innovation and Development Centre (GreenID), a Hanoi-based NGO, released a report on air quality in Vietnam in the first half of this year. It compared the air quality in the first six months of 2017 with the same period of 2016.

Based on the report, from January to June, Hanoi suffered 139 days of excessive PM2.5 level, according to international standards.

PM, or particulate matter, is a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets in the air. PM2.5 particulates are approximately a thirtieth as thick as the width of a human hair and can pass through lung tissue and into the blood, harming human health.

The data showed no relation between the concentration of pollutants and peak traffic hours, meaning that the air quality has been affected by different pollution sources, notably the energy industry.

Nguyen Thi Anh Thu, GreenID’s environment expert, said that although the air quality has improved, millions of Hanoians rarely enjoy fresh air.

In January the Hanoi People’s Committee launched an online service with information on the weather conditions and environment indexes, including an air quality index, rainfall and flooding.