Pollution caused by exhaust fumes, dust and noise in HCM City has not declined over the last year, according to the city’s Environment Protection sub-department.

The agency reported early this month that tests at the city’s six observation stations showed that up to 89 percent of air samples exceeded the acceptable maximum pollution levels.

Particles from exhaust fumes and dust were the major pollutants, it said.

The lead and benzene content in the air have also increased significantly this year.

The content of lead in air samples taken this year has increased by 2.2 times over last year at 0.22-0.38 gram per cu.m, the agency said.

Dust from construction sites has also contributed greatly to worsening air pollution in the city.

The leading air pollution factor was exhaust fumes released by the increasing number of vehicles plying city roads and the discharge of untreated smoke from production units.

Under a five-year plan ending in 2010, the city had set several targets in order to reduce air pollution, including lowering the number of individual vehicles and controlling exhaust fumes released by production units.

However, the number of vehicles has continued to increase in recent years.

By the end of last year, the city had more than 4 million motorbikes and 300,000 automobiles of various kinds, according to official figures.

Nearly 60 percent of motorbikes do not meat emission standards, the sub-department said./.