Call for help in Man Xa craft village
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Vietnam has numerous industrial sites, some of them are really modern ones, however, along with high-tech plants, there still exist very primitive household, self-made lead and aluminum recycling workshops that pose a huge threat to local environment and community health. One of them is Man Xa craft village.
- The village has about 900 households, of which more than 300 households directly participate in aluminum recycling, producing machine parts, lead and about 50 households specializing in purchasing and transporting materials and waste.
- The income of people from this job is very high, earners have average wages of 400,000 - 500,000 VND / day, while the households owning incinerators and aluminum recycling, the income is from tens to hundreds of millions dong every month.
- On average each year, Man Xa village recycles about 10,000 tons of waste aluminum and every day a household makes two to three quintals of aluminum powder. The owners of aluminum recycling facilities in Man Xa village must use lead powder to pull aluminum out. Once this village used 1 ton of lead to pull aluminum out!
Aluminum recycling process in a household workshop, Man Xa village
- Black smoke rising from hundreds of untreated aluminum foundries, thousands of tons of aluminum slag poured directly into the fields surrounding the village, most of the agricultural land was abandoned, the amount of dust Mezzanine is many times higher than the standard, chemicals are everywhere, the content of lead in the environment is dozens of times higher than the permitted one…
- Almost bare trees with some remaining yellow leaves cannot survive. Ponds are dead. In houses near workshops, if there is no closed-glass barrier system, people still have to wear a mask to limit inhalation of toxic dust.
Aluminum waste with lead particles is dumped on the fields and into local lakes
- The people of Man Xa village all know that aluminum recycling is harmful to health, but because of the economy, they have to disregard and build aluminum recycling furnaces on their own premises. Over 90% of local workers are attached to the job, but no one wears a protective uniform, some of them just wear face masks. They live with pollution as a habit.
Aluminum waste with lead particles pollutes local lakes in Man Xa village.
- Each household builds a separate aluminum casting furnace and no one can guarantee that it is environmentally friendly. Aluminum slag after burning is finished, is thrown away around the village, on the territory of public land, into ponds and lakes.
Aluminum wire dumps destroy local ecology
- In 2015, Bac Ninh Provincial People's Committee approved an investment project to build environmental pollution treatment works in Man Xa aluminum recycling village with a total investment of over VND 44 billion. The project includes the following items: Waste water treatment system with capacity of 1,800 - 2,000m3 / day and night; to build yards for gathering and transporting production and daily-life wastes with a capacity of around 30-40 tons / day; installation of waste water - gas - mud treatment system.
- Besides, the province has also approved the project of Man Xa trade village IC by Hanaka Group Joint Stock Company as an investor with an area of about 27ha, investment capital of nearly VND400 billion. The objective of the project is to create conditions to attract and relocate small-scale production and business households in craft villages into concentrated production areas and minimize environmental pollution. However, to date, both projects have not been completed.
- There is information about 209 children in Dong Mai recycling village (Hung Yen province) exposed to lead.
- Associate Prof. Dr. Duong Ba Truc - Department of Pediatrics (BV Vinmec) said: "About 15 - 20% of children who come to visit a doctor, are suffering from respiratory infections; some of them have not been hospitalized for a long time due to serious illnesses like pneumonia, bronchitis. In addition, we also see quite a few children who lack height and weight compared to their age”.
- Living long with pollution, the health of the people here is seriously threatened. Diseases of cancer, pulmonary tuberculosis ... successive raging. Psychology bewildered, fear covered, haunting the entire village. One day, the commune health station received 4 - 5 babies with respiratory infections. In many cases, there are serious complications and emergency care must be taken at the higher level. The number of elderly people with chronic respiratory diseases accounts for about 60-70%. Mr. Nguyen Van Duy - Head of the Medical Station of Van Mon Commune - said that, after monitoring in recent years, the rate of people suffering from cancer and dying due to pollution is getting higher and higher. Each year, the average number of deaths in Van Mon is about 30 people, of which about 20 people die from cancer.
- Many people in this area also said, in the past, people in the village had a habit of hiding aluminum under the bed, under the cabinet, in case of being stolen by the crooks. Since then, family members have been worn out, lethargic, born of illness and have no known cause. "At that time, people just thought that the person was hit by the wind, or whatever disease, even thought of the cause of spirituality, nobody thought the culprit was the other waste", Mr. Nghiem Van Hung - a person people in Van Mon commune - said
- From a few people, after the yellow epidemic, fatigue spread to the whole village. For many years, Man Xa fell into a psychological crisis, when people got sick more and more, but no one knew the cause. Only when the delegation of health officials returned to the locality and found the level of pollution of the water source, plus the people storing waste in the house was the cause of the recent consequences, the people were startled and abandon that dangerous habit.
Residents of Man Xa village are not fully aware of the danger that their recycling work poses to their health and the health of their children, to the local air, water and soil… The consequences can be truly tragic, cause ecological catastrophe with subsequent severe diseases of children and adults, resulting in many deaths of the local population from chronic toxic poisoning.
There must be taken numerous measures to improve occupational safety in this village and health intervention programs should be deployed to secure the health of people in this area.