The most serious impact of urbanair pollution is damage to human health (WHO, 2000). People living in urbanareas are exposed to air pollutions which seriously affect their health. InHanoi, poor people in the central urban areas are the most damaged by airpollution (Sumi et al., 2007).
The children and old people also have difficultyin coping with air pollution. (Figure 3.5) Building materials and green areasare also affected by urban air pollutions (MONRE, 2008). Figure 3.5. Humans are exposed to air pollution (NEAVietnam, 2009) Exposure to air pollution may cause various diseases.Long time exposure to air pollutions causes respiratory disease, throatinflammation, cardiovascular disease, chest pain, and congestion. Chemical andradioactive substances can cause cancers.
Table 3.8 shows the most commondiseases related to air pollutions in Vietnam (MONRE, 2008). Table 3.8. The most common diseases related to airpollutions in Vietnam. by Ministry of Health, 2005 (MONRE, 2008) Rank Disease Cases per 100.
000 inhabitants 1 Pneumonia 415 2 Throat symptoms 309 3 Chronic Bronchitis 305 According to records of Vietnam Ministry of Health in2007, respiratory diseases related to air pollution is a serious disease inVietnam. Recent studies in Hanoi show further evidence between air pollutionand respiratory diseases. The percentage of respiratory disease cases of peopleliving in the ThuongDinh Industrial area is 14% (Table 3.
9). It is 2.3 timeshigher than a control group in the rural area of KimBang, HaNam province.(MONRE, 2008). Table 3.9. The percentage of disease cases inindustrial areas (ThuongDinh) in comparison with the control sample in ruralarea (PhuThuy, GiaLam).
(MONRE, 2008) Disease % in ThuongDinh % in GiaLam Chronic bronchitis 6.4 2.8 Upper respiratory infection 36.1 13.1 Lower respiratory infection 17.9 15.5 Optical symptoms 28.
5 16.1 Nose symptoms 17.5 13.7 Throat symptoms 31.4 26.3 Skin symptoms 17.
6 6.6 Vegetative nervous symptoms 30.6 21.5 Nervous response symptoms 40.7 37.7 Ventilate function disorder 29.
4 22.8 The percentage of respiratory infection cases in thisindustrial area is 1.9-7.6 times higher compared to the rural areas (Table3.9).
It indeed shows an obvious link between human effect and air pollutions. According to the global environmentoutlook (GEO-4) released by the United Nations Environment Program, Hanoi andHoChiMinh city are among the six cities suffering the most from severe airpollution in the world.. Dr. Hoang Duong Tung, Director of the EnvironmentObservatory and Information Centre (CEMDI), of the Vietnam EnvironmentalProtection Agency (VEPA) Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment(MONRE), Vietnam has contributed in the report. For the dust concentration inthe air, Hanoi and HoChiMinh cities rank only behind Beijing, Shanghai ofChina, New Delhi of India and Dhaka of Bangladesh.
Experts say that Vietnam’scurrent GDP growth is estimated to 8%, but if the environmental losses causedby the development process are taken into account, the real growth rate wouldbe 3-4% (UNEP, 2007). According to a research study in Hanoi, incomes arereduced 20% and health of citizen also by 20% in Hanoi due to air pollution.The survey was conducted in five typical areas: the ThuongDinh Industrial zone,PhapVan highway, DongXuan Market, KimLien apartment quarter and TayHo. Morethan 2,200 households with 10,100 members, 6,020 students, and 1,370 workers inthose areas participated in the survey.
Among 2,200 households, 73% have hadillnesses due to air pollution (Pham, 2007). OnMarch 6, 2007, in a workshop of air pollution from motorbikes conducted byVietnam Register (VR) and Swiss-Vietnamese Clean Air Program (SVCAP), it was anestimated that Hanoi losses one billion Vietnam dong/day (eq. 50.000 USD/day)because of air pollution (Vietnam Register and SVCAP, 2007). It isobvious that Vietnamese authorities already realizes that air pollution is anissue in Vietnam, especially in the urban areas (Thomas Fuller, 2007).