People wear masks to protect their health from dust and smoke in HCM City.(Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Air pollution in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City has risen to alarming levels due to waste, dust and noise pollution, and has affected the health of area residents.

In a report issued in November by the Environment Department of the Ministry of Transport, dust pollution in Hanoi exceeded the permitted levels, possibly rising to double the standard levels. Further, pollution levels are increasing due to the endless streams of traffic and ongoing construction projects.

According to statistics from the Vietnam Environment Administration's Environmental Monitoring Centre, at many intersections, such as Kim Lien, Giai Phong, Ha Dong, Nguyen Xien roads, Phung Hung, De La Thanh streets and crowded residential areas, dust levels are often 5 to 7 times higher than permitted levels.

A recent study shows that 72 percent of household residents in Hanoi report suffering diseases related to respiration, with Hoang Mai district residents suffering the highest levels, at 91.4 percent, while the lowest level was recorded in Tay Ho district, at 55 percent.

Further, many people suffer from dust and smoke on sunny days and mud when there is rain.

Of note, on Yen Nghia Road in Ha Dong district there are three unfinished construction projects and dust covers trees, grass, as well as the residents' houses along the road.

Similarly, air pollution levels on some roads, such as Truong Chinh, Highway No 1, Mien Dong, Mien Tay bus stations, or areas near industrial zones in HCM City have worsened.

Additionally, the enormous number of vehicles operating during peak hours has caused a large amount of dust and smoke, contributing to increasing air pollution levels. Also, noise pollution is attributed to traffic, factories, and constructions sites, which affects the quality of the local environment.

According to the city's Environmental Protection Department, 89 percent of air samples checked in HCM City do not meet current safety criteria.

Environmental experts state that an increased use of public transportation, instead of personal vehicles, would help lessen the crisis.-VNA