The Vietnam Environmental Administration under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment held a conference in Hanoi on February 9 to review a project on upgrading dioxin laboratories in the country.

Speaking at the event, Director of the project Le Ke Son said the project was carried out from 2008 to 2014 with the goal of developing laboratories meeting international standards in examining and evaluating the health threat posed by pollutants, especially dioxin and related compounds.

Son said while dioxin research has made significant progress so far, existing labs needs further upgrading in terms of personnel and equipment.

According to dioxin specialist Nguyen Hung Minh, several domestic dioxin labs have applied a number of cutting-edge technologies in accordance with international standards and in collaboration with foreign laboratories.

He cited examples such as facilities at the Vietnam-Russia Tropical Research Centre under the Vietnam Environmental Administration and the Centre for Analytical Services and Experimentation in Ho Chi Minh City.

Vietnam has to deal with a wide range of problems as consequences of more than 18.2 million gallons of Agent Orange/dioxin herbicide which was sprayed by the US military over more than 10 percent of the area of southern Vietnam in the war from 1961 to 1971.

It is estimated that 4.8 million Vietnamese were exposed to AO/dioxin. Many of the victims have died while millions others and their descendants are living with deformities and diseases caused by the toxic chemical.-VNA