According to the statistics on Vietnam’s Youth Newspaper in 2020, Hanoi is one of the 10 cities with the worst air quality in the world. This not only affects the people’s health and daily activities but intuitively has become a "barrier" for visitors every time they intend to visit and experience tourism at the capital.
1 - Hanoi air quality conditions
Hanoi is well-known as a must-visit destination in Vietnam which is famous for its unique culture and cuisine. As the second most crowded city in Vietnam and with construction and development, life here is always in a busy state with millions of people living, the streets are always crowded and the high-rise buildings are rising continuously. Due to that, some international tourists from developed countries had high living standards and good living environment quality may feel claustrophobic and unfamiliar with the atmosphere in Hanoi. In the wintertime from November to January, especially, the air visual here is always low due to the dense dust and fog.
For those who do not know, the air quality in Hanoi is also measured by the AQI index. AQI stands for Air Quality Index - air quality. Accordingly, the higher the index, the poorer the air quality. AQI is synthesized and calculated by the content of 05 gases and substances in the air:
- Ozone: from industrial emissions, vehicle exhaust, or chemical reactions.
- Fine dust: from production and construction activities, mainly PM 2.5 and PM10.
- Carbon Monoxide: carbon emission from cars, tailors, or burnt fuels such as gasoline, oil, wood, or gas.
- Sulfur dioxide: mainly from gas mining, metallurgy, marine activities or volcanic eruptions, forest fires, etc.
- Nitrogen dioxide: derived from a natural chemical reaction between nitrogen and oxygen in the air.
Air quality measurement data from 13 monitoring stations in Hanoi in 2019:
- 01 station of Vietnam Environment Administration
- 01 station at the French Embassy
- 01 station at the US Embassy
- 10 stations of Hanoi
It can be seen that, in 2019, the Hanoi air quality index is always above 50ug/m2, a high level that has an adverse effect on health. This leads to "photochemical smog" which negatively affects the health, daily life and commute of the people.
According to an analysis from the Center for Environmental Monitoring in the North, the poor air quality depends on the weather and climate. Especially during the time of seasonal change (late March, early April or late 9 early October), low humidity and heat inversions increase the concentration of exhaust gas in the air, especially in the early morning.
2 - The effects of air quality on health
If the Hanoi air quality index is usually at a high level, pollution directly affects the respiratory system of people, especially children. According to Nguyen Tien Dung – a doctor at Bach Mai Hospital, poor air quality causes negative effects for people with chronic lung disease and asthma. Children will be susceptible to lung disease, mucosal damage or respiratory infections (Source: haiquanonline.com.vn)
Common manifestations among people when the air quality is poor on a regular basis are headaches, fatigue, dizziness, etc, due to frequent exposure to polluted air, leading to respiratory tract damage and causing viruses and bacteria to invade easily, therefore, new diseases arise. Health quality declines, reducing productivity, job stagnation, and adversely affecting the quality of life and society.
3 - Tips for tourists in the face of the Hanoi air quality situation
Although the AQI in Hanoi is usually high, which is harmful to health, visitors do not need to worry too much. To ensure your health and have a smooth travel schedule, visitors should take the following tips:
- Prepare a PM 2.5 anti-air pollution mask when you go out.
- Choose the right time to go out. Ideally, when the temperature is high, PM2.5 dust is dispersed so the air quality is somewhat better.
- The best time to travel to Vietnam is in the spring, summer, and autumn when the humidity in the air is high, often with heavy rain, so the concentration of fine dust in the air is minimized.
- Develop a travel schedule or work schedule during the time when the air quality is the best in the year.
- Regularly clean your house and workplace.
- Equipped with air purification equipment, which helps to filter out dust and toxic gases.
- Decorate and plant trees in the house, reducing CO2 content and increasing O2.
- Use a mist spray system at home or at the workplace.
Air quality in Hanoi affects the life and travel schedule of tourists. However, if there are reasonable health protection measures, Hanoi is still an ideal destination for tourists. Hopefully, with the information that we have just shared, visitors will have an interesting trip.