What's Up, Doc? runs on our Health Page every Wednesday and features questions from our readers about their health concerns. Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I've read on Viet Nam News that Viet Nam has just been listed amongst the top ten countries with the worst air condition in the world. I've recently moved to Ha Noi and worry a lot about air pollution. Which measures should I take to reduce the health effects of air pollution?
Kamui Kobayashi, Ha Noi
Common problems caused by fumes and dust are respiratory in nature, such as allergic rhinitis and asthma, which are often triggered by poor air quality.
To reduce the negative health effects, we suggest recently-arrived expatriates seek accommodation in areas where the population density is not high, preferably outside the Old Quarter in central Ha Noi. The quality of air in suburban districts can be far higher than downtown Ha Noi.
For personal protection, whenever you go out, make sure to wear a gauze mask to prevent inhalation of dust and make sure you buy a medical face mask from a pharmacies rather than one from a street vendor as the medical variety prevent harmful micro-organisms, while the others cannot.
Dr. Ngo Thi Nga
Consultant of Quang Hong Health Counseling Centre
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