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Ha Noi tap water poses health risks

Update: May, 15/2014 - 09:52
A sample from the Phap Van Water Plant showed the Permanganate index, which can cause dermatitis, exceeding the regulated level by 1.6 times, while that collected from the Ha Dong Water Plant exceeded the allowed level by 0.4-0.8 times.— Photo pda

HA NOI (VNS) — Tap water samples collected from different plants in the capital city fail to meet the Health Ministry's hygiene standards and pose a public health hazard, according to the Ha Noi Preventive Medicine Centre.

The centre says tests on samples taken from different water plants in Ha Noi since January this year show excessive levels of minerals and chemicals that can have serious consequences for residents.

A sample from the Phap Van Water Plant showed the Permanganate index, which can cause dermatitis, exceeding the regulated level by 1.6 times, while that collected from the Ha Dong Water Plant exceeded the allowed level by 0.4-0.8 times.

Seven of 23 samples from different water plants in Ha Noi this March were also found high amounts of permanganate and amoni.

This time, samples from the Phap Van and Ha Dong water plants had permanganate contamination exceed the regulated level by 1.92 and 2.57 times respectively.

At the Phap Van and Ha Dinh water plants, the ammonia levels were 0.3-0.7 times the regulated level.

Two samples from the Son Tay Water Supply Company had chlorine levels exceed maximum regulated levels. High chlorine levels can affect the digestive system, liver and kidneys.

Nguyen Hoa Binh, deputy director of the Ha Noi Preventive Medicine Centre, told the Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper that the Phap Van and Ha Dinh water plants suffered contamination problems often because they were old and lacked good quality underground water sources.

Tran Hong Con, a lecturer at the Ha Noi University of Natural Science, also told Tien phong that at 0.3mg of chlorine per litre, the water can be sterilized, but at more than 0.5mg in each litre, it becomes a harmful substance that can cause digestive disorders and, in some cases, mental disorder, he said.

Con said that if the amount of ammonia in water exceeded the regulated level by very little, it would not affect people's health. But if it was too high, it can transform to nitrite which can lead to anaemia and cancer. — VNS

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