There was no evidence to conclude mercury was in the air in the city, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment announced on Tuesday, April 2016.— Photo kinhtedothi.vn
HÀ NỘI – Reports of mercury pollution in the air in Hà Nội, which could pose serious health risks, were inaccurate and caused public panic, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment announced on Tuesday, April 2016.
Hoàng Dương Tùng, deputy director of the ministry’s Environment Department said that department tests recently detected mercury in a rainwater sample collected in a station in Long Bien District’s Nguyễn Văn Cừ Street.
However, he said, it was an initial result. The department needed to do further studies.
There was no evidence to conclude mercury was in the air in the city, he said. Currently, Việt Nam does not have equipment to test mercury in the air.
Tùng said observation and analysis of mercury was not simple. The department worked with international agencies to analyse mercury.
Mercury is a dangerous substance that can damage people’s organs and even cause death. Inhaling mercury can cause breath difficulties, vomiting, chest pains, convulsions and memory loss.
Last week, the Real-time Air Quality Index again ranked the pollution in Hà Nội as ‘unhealthy’, which would likely cause respiratory diseases, with old people and children especially vulnerable. The public were advised to avoid outdoor activities.
The index was published on the website Aqicn.org and provided real time air quality and pollution monitoring. The pollution rate in Hà Nội is also measured by the United States (US) Embassy in Hà Nội and by the Việt Nam Centre for Environmental Monitoring under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
Early last month, the pollution rate was at hazardous levels when measured at Đống Đa District’s Láng Hạ Street and Tây Hồ District. According to the index, a high score of 388 points, emergency warning levels, was recorded. The peak index was reportedly as high as in Beijing, China. — VNS