Unlike in other countries where you can log on a website and get the pollution index, Vietnam doesn’t seem to have one — well at least none that is in English that I can search through Google. That’s why when Aron Szabo of IQ Air began posting about the quality of air in Ho Chi Minh City, I was really happy. Aron took it upon himself to post on days when pollution got really bad. When you got kids and when you have someone like me who has allergic rhinitis that doesn’t really go away, his updates are heaven sent. Here’s Aron and Aron’s wife, Rita’s take on air quality in Vietnam.
The air that we breathe has a great impact on our lives. We can survive for days without food and water, but only a few minutes without air. The quality of air that we breathe is also of essential importance for our well-being.
The less allergens, microorganisms and chemical pollutants we breathe, the smaller the chance of becoming ill.
Air pollution in Vietnam? Yes!
You may have already heard, that the air quality in Vietnam is among the worst world-wide. Although the awareness is not as high as in China, particle count in the bustling cities of HCMC and Hanoi can resemble to those in Beijing or Shanghai.
The fact is there are over 3.5 million asthma sufferers in Vietnam, which is a rather significant number of the total population.
There are a number of reasons for air pollution in Asia, among which the high number of manufacturing sites and the yet missing environmental regulations and awareness are three major factors.
Significant sources of air pollution in Vietnam:
- Traffic pollution (millions of motorbikes)
- Mold (indoors – formulates very easily in places of high humidity)
- Burning trash (at the side of the road, even within residential areas)
- Constructions (continuously all around)
- VOCs (in any households
Air pollution can affect our health in many ways with both short-term and long-term effects. Different groups of people are affected by air pollution in different ways. Some individuals are much more sensitive to pollutants than others. Generally speaking, the most endangered groups by air pollutants are young children, the elderly and individuals with weakened immune system. The most common effects of air pollution are asthma, bronchitis, allergies, nausea, and eye, nose and throat irritation.
Did you know…?
Indoor air quality is often 3-5 times worse than outdoor. Since statistically we spend over 90% of our time indoors, indoor air quality significantly influences our general health. While we tend to pay a lot of attention to the quality of food we eat or to the purity of water we drink, we have only recently started to understand the significance of the one factor that is just as, if not more crucial – the quality of the air we breathe.
Clean air in Vietnam? It’s possible!
What can I do to improve the air quality in my home?
- Keep your rooms well-ventilated
- Put plants into your home (best ones: aloe, bamboo palm, snake plant, etc…)
- Do not smoke indoors
- If outdoor air quality is ok, open your windows for half an hour (especially after cooking indoors)
- Prevent mold formations
- Reduce VOC emitting household products (more on this: http://www.air-purifier-vietnam.com/content/vocs-%E2%80%93-personal-experience-harmful-household-products)
- Keep a healthy level of humidity (30-50% keeps allergens and mold spores under control)
- Have your ACs cleaned frequently
- Get rid of fitted carpets
For further information, interesting news and IQAir tips, please visit our website: http://air-purifier-vietnam.com/