Type: Process Essays
Sample donated: Julio Webb
Last updated: May 17, 2019
NGUY?N TH? NG?C HÀ3KT-17AIR PROBLEMS IN THE METROPOLITAN AREAS IN VIETNAM1.
IntroductionIn recent year, Vietnam’s population has been surging rapidly and uncontrollably. And the urban population has increased with an incredible speed. People are attracted by the high rates of economic growth, ideal and modern conditions in employment, education, health care services, entertainment, and a better quality of life. However, this urbanization leads to many drawbacks and strongly affect our life, and air pollution is one of the most serious consequences. Air pollution can be defined is “the degradation of air quality resulting from unwanted chemicals or other materials, which are higher than its own natural concentration, occuring in the atmosphere that may result in adverse effect on humans, animals, vegetation, and/or materials” (US EPA 2009). Rapid development combined with deforestation, few or nonexist vehicle emission standards polluting gasoline motorbikes, and poor urban planning have caused poor air quality in major cities (environmental management and sustainability in Vietnam). Solving this problem is a very difficult thing and needs much time to improve on account of its big issues that cause much trouble for environment and human beings.
This paper, with the aim of raising awareness of people in protecting living space and reduce the quantity of harmful substances in the air as soon as possible, dicusses the facts, main causes, and some necessary solutions in order to create fresh atmosphere.2. Discussion of findings2.1. The causes of air pollutionIt could be seen that, pollution is now a common place term because it seems that people have to face it everyday and it has also taken place in many recent years. To explain to this problem, there are some main reasons for it. The first reason is transport vehicle emissions. As you know, the number of cars and motorbikes is rapidly increasing,while local people do not have the habit to walk, especially in two major cities: Hanoi and HoChiMinh City.
According to MONRE warned in a 2007 report that the pressure of socio-economic development would lead to environmental degradation. Also, according to this, the main offender of air pollution in big cities is vehicular traffic, which contributes 85% of the amount of carbon monoxide in the air.Motorbikes increased 400% from 1996 to 2006. The total number of motor vehicles is continuously increasing every year (10% for cars and 15% for motorbikes). This growth significantly contributes to the degrading of air qualitiy in the city (VCAP and VAI-Asia, 2008). Those numbers may surge in next years because of the increase of population in Vietnam and affect negatively air environment on account of waste from transportations.
In detail, with more than 600,000 cars, it consumed 4 million litters of fuel a day. Although we rely on them to fulfill our daily basic needs of transportation, overusing it may destroy environment as dangerous gases and others.Besides, exhaust from factories and industries is also contribute to air pollution, especially manufacturing industries which can be found at everywhere. It releases a large amount of harmful substances such as carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, organic compounds, and chemicals into the air; therefore, this makes lessen the quality of the air.In some production facilities, due to backward production technology or also due to the awareness of business owners who are only care about the immediate benefit and discharge the waste indiscriminately without treatment.. As the recent researchs, in the electricity manufacturing structure, the proportion of coal thermal power plants in Vietnam is relatively high, more than 50% with about 20 factories. 50 cement factories and 40 steel processing factories are major air pollution sources in Vietnam.
Finally,except above,the construction of apartment, high-storey buildings and works in cities also cause dust pollution if vehicles going in and out of these construction sites are not properly managed. Moreover, domestic activities of households have big effects toward air pollution. As you may know, keeping homes warm is a essential thing of each family when winter comes, it means they tend to use more fossil fuels such as oil, gas, and coal.
While large cities in Vietnam is rapidly unbanizing leading to an increased population.For example, in 2007, Hanoi has approximately 3.5 millions registered inhabitants with a population density of about 4 persons/km2 (Hanoi statistical office, 2008).
It means the more dwellers increase, the more gases is used. Furthermore, home cooking also play an importance role in causing air pollution. The energy in cooking come from energy plants which is one of the sources of air pollutants. Alternatively, in somewhere, home cooking requires direct burning of wood or coals, which produces a large number of poison gases, and make the quality of the air more dangerous. 2.2. The consequences of air pollutionIt is obvious that Vietnamese authorities already realizes that air pollution is an issue in Vietnam, especially in the urban areas (Thomas Fuller, 2007).
Looking at current statuses in big cities in Vietnam, we can see that most worrisome is that people in the working age group are the ones most often affected by air pollution (Vietnamnet, 2017). Because they have to go to the office to work every day; therefore, they can not avoid facing these dust. And the most serious impact of urban air pollution is damage to human health. According to the global environmment outlook (GEO-4) released by the United Nations Environment Program, Hanoi and HoChiMinh city are among the six cities suffering the most from severe air pollution in the world. Especially, the children and old people are very sensitive with outdoor environment; therefore, they also have difficulty in coping with air pollution. An increasing number of people are now suffering from some serious deseases such as cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.
According to incomplete statistics, in recent year, the number of patients relating to air pollution is increasing. The number of children hospitalised for asthma treatment, respiratory bacteria, and cough in some hospitals in Hanoi and HoChiMinh cities has increased many times. According to medicinal specialists’ forecast, the number of cancer cases including lung cancer in Vietnam will increase significantly in the next 5 years.In addition, air pollution cause a huge economic impact for not only government but also people who are affected by this problem. Statistic from the Ministry of Transport revealed that 2.
5 million patients spend an estimated $66.8 million a year for examinations and treatment for respiratory diseases each year in Ha Noi alone, and incomes are redeuced 20% and health of citizens also by 20%. They also show that in HoChiMinh City, 5.6 million patients spend $70.9 million a year for similar treatment.
There are alarming numbers by its dizzying increase over the years. As a result, experts say that Vietnam’s current GDP growth is estimated to 8%, but if the environmental losses caused by the development process are taken into account, the real growth rate would be 3-4% (UNEP, 2007). It means Vietnam’s economy will be declined to extremely low level and it also threatens economic growth in medium and long term because the number of days having average hourly daily value higher than the allowed level is increasing through years, mostly highest in peak hour when the density of cars and motorbikes is high in the streets.
Furthermore, air pollution even increases greenhouse gases that cause climate change, acid rain, and degrade ecosystem.2.3. Some possible solutions to reduce air pollutionTo avoid many unwanted consequences caused by air pollution, it is necessary to suggest and make attempt to improve the quality of the air pollution. In recent years, there are some measures has been carried out by government to deal with air pollution issues.
Firstly, the need of constructing some plans to encourage everyone in using the public transportation system. Because it play an important role in reducing the large number of exhausted fumes from private means. For instance, building the underground transport system, overhead transport system, bus network, cross-over bridges, sky-train and so on to prevent traffic jams. At the same time, using clean, renewable sourses, electric transportations, for example, instead of dependance on fossil fuels for public vehicles is also a good solution.
Secondly, it is necessary to raise community awareness and so as to create changes in taking part in environmental protection through energy saving programs, public transport usage, no waste burning and so on. People need to be aware of their social responsibilities to the environment in which they breathe daily to survive. Besides, industrial businesses alse need to be clear aware of their own mission in recycling waste, and avoiding unintended consequences on the environment in general, and air quality in particular. However, it is not easy to implement in short time because there are still many people who are selfish and ignore the huge consequences of air pollution. Therefore, all of people need to understand about correlation among nature, man, and society.Finally, buiding environmentally friendly cities is also very essential. According to General Secretary of the Association of Cities of Vietnam Vu Thi Vinh says development of green city is a good solution to reduce the stuffy atmosphere and protecting lakes trees is absolute necessary, in addition to sound transport planning.
Because trees have many big efectiveness in creating oxigen. Tree transpiration and tree canopies affect air temperature, radiation absorption and heat storage, wind speed, relative humidity, turbulence, surface albedo, surface roughness and consequently the evolution of the mixing-layer height. These changes in local meteorology can alter pollution concentrations in urban areas (Nowak, D.J., McHale P.J., Ibarra, M., Crane, D.
, Stevens, J., and Luley, C. 1998). Trees remove gaseous air pollution primarily by uptake via leaf stomata, though some gases are removed by the plant surface (Smith,W.
H. 1990). Therefore, creating “green” cities is one of the most urgent things that need to be done. 3. Conclusion