Time to take bolder actions for clean air and people's health
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During the last two weeks, the citizens of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City had been choked by heavily polluted air in the streets.
Due to Dr. Kidong Park, the World Health Organization Representative in Vietnam, polluted air is extremely harmful to people’s health.
Exposure to high concentration of particulate matters (PM), in particular micro particles with a diameter of 2.5 microns or less (PM2.5), increases the risk of air pollution-related diseases, including acute lower respiratory infections, stroke, heart attack, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer.
Excessive ozone in the air can have a marked effect on human health. It can cause breathing problems, trigger asthma, reduce lung function and lead to lung diseases.
Exposure to nitrogen dioxide (NO2) aggravates symptoms of bronchitis in asthmatic children.
Sulfur dioxide (SO2) can affect the respiratory system and the functions of the lungs, and causes irritation of the eyes.
The WHO air quality guidelines are based on expert evaluation of current scientific evidence and are applied worldwide. Unfortunately, 91 percent of the world population is living in places where the air quality based on WHO guidelines is not met. In 2016, WHO estimated that both ambient (outdoor) and household (indoor) air pollution caused 7 million premature deaths worldwide per year.
In Vietnam, more than 60,000 deaths from heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in 2016 were linked to air pollution. Air pollution is considered a silent killer.
Air pollutant concentration varies by location, hourly, daily and seasonally as it is affected by movement of pollutants, winds, temperature etc. For instance, air quality in Hanoi is worse during winter time than summer time. However, this year, air quality during the second half of September suddenly became very poor compared with the same period of the past several years.
Vietnamese women wear protective masks while walking around Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi, Vietnam, as the air quality continues to be unhealthy, October 2, 2019. Photo by Reuters/Kham.
With air quality in major cities in Vietnam getting worse over the years, now is the time to actively implement the plan and take bolder actions. The government, at national and local levels, needs to consider the following actions towards clean air and improved health for the people.
To protect people's health, the government needs to enforce emergency measures to minimize the emissions during the period of air pollution level far exceeding the WHO guidelines. The Air Quality Index can be a useful guidance to trigger emergency actions of emission control by the government. Such actions may target the industry, power plants, transport, waste management facilities, and agricultural burning. The cities may also increase the frequency of street cleaning using water spray to reduce the dust emission from the Urban Environment Company (URENCO).
The sources of air pollution should be thoroughly identified, and a long-term plan to ensure clean air should be developed and implemented. The authorities in the sectors of transport, energy and waste management, urban planning and agriculture should work together for clean air. There are many examples of successful policies that reduce air pollution:
- For industry: to use clean technologies that reduce industrial smokestack emissions; improved management of urban and agricultural waste, including capture of methane gas emitted from waste sites as an alternative to incineration (for use as biogas);
- For transport: shifting to clean modes of power generation; prioritizing rapid urban transit, walking and cycling networks in cities, as well as rail interurban freight and passenger travel; shifting to cleaner heavy duty diesel vehicles and low-emission vehicles and fuels, including fuels with reduced sulfur content.
Air pollution is among the most important public health issues in large cities of the developing world. It affects us all, and the government should exercise its leadership role in controlling emissions aggressively, particularly during the time of severe pollution. The government, civil society and international partners should work together to find mid- and long-term solutions to prevent air pollution right from its source. It's time to take bolder actions for clean air.
However, while the government is still making an action plan aimed at reducing pollution and wearing protective face masks no longer helps, the pollution is killing us and our children slowly. Thus to protect our health and preserve our lives, we have to take urgent measures to reduce the negative effect of pollutants on the body.
Doctors say that the only one solution is periodic
cellular body detoxification.
Leading toxicologists recommend to use only reliable products that have a clinically proven ability to eliminate heavy metals and other toxic compounds from the body. Such product in Vietnam is PECTIN COMPLEX.
Unlike other detox products, Ukrainian health supplement PECTIN COMPLEX is the only one natural supplement that has a scientifically proven effect of significant elimination of lead and other heavy metals from the body in a natural way. This product is absolutely safe and is officially approved for pregnant and breastfeeding women and children. It also strengthens the immune system and decreases the frequency of seasonal diseases in children. The Ministry of Health of Vietnam and the National Institute of Occupational and Environmental Health of Vietnam apply PECTIN COMPLEX for the national program of support treatment of lead intoxication of children and adults living in populated areas of Vietnam like Hung Yen , Bac Ninh , Ninh Binh , Bac Can, Thai Nguyen and others.
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