HCMC – Health experts have raised an alarm as HCMC’s noise and fine dust pollution exceeds safety thresholds and threatens to cause respiratory ailments and hearing loss, as well as worsens background diseases.
Data collected by the city Department of Natural Resources and Environment indicated that fine particulate matter (PM2.5), an air pollutant that is a concern for people’s health when levels in the air are high, along with noise levels in the southern metropolis, surpasses Vietnam’s safety limits.
PM2.5 volumes in inner-city areas ranged from 21 to 52 micrograms per cubic meter, while the safety threshold stands at 50 micrograms per cubic meter.
PM2.5 particles are released by vehicles, industries and natural sources, such as dust, and can travel deep into the respiratory tract and reach the lungs, causing adverse health effects.
Experts said the situation could deteriorate as the Lunar New Year approaches, due to expectations of a strong surge in traffic volume, as well as industrial manufacturing and construction activities, leading to more fine dust found in the air.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) considered noise as the second largest environmental cause of health problems, after air pollution.
Frequent exposure to loud noise for long periods can affect human hearing and lead to hearing loss if the noise exceeds 120 decibels, the news site tuoitre.vn quoted Doctor Nguyen Hai Nam as saying.
Also, inhaling fine dust for a long time can cause respiratory diseases, asthma, or even cancers, with children and the elderly being the most vulnerable group, Nam said.