On Tuesday morning, weather applications in Hanoi rated the air quality as “very unhealthy” or “unhealthy,” with high levels of PM2.5 registered.
According to the U.S.-based weather forecasting service AccuWeather, the air quality index (AQI) in Hanoi was 197 on Tuesday, indicating a “very unhealthy” rating. The AQI is an indicator of the level of pollution, with higher readings reflecting worse air quality. The service also reported a PM2.5 level of 147µg/m3 in Hanoi, local media reported.
AccuWeather suggested that the health impacts of the poor air quality would be “immediately felt by sensitive groups,” while healthy individuals might experience breathing difficulties and throat irritation. It recommended that people consider remaining indoors and postponing outdoor activities.
Switzerland-based air quality monitoring facility IQAir AirVisual assessed Hanoi’s AQI at 158 on Tuesday, categorizing the air quality as “unhealthy.” According to AirVisual, the PM2.5 level in the air was 69 µg/m3, 13.8 times higher than the WHO’s air quality standards.
In contrast, the air quality in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) on Tuesday was rated “fair” by AccuWeather, with an AQI of 29, and a PM2.5 level of 10 µg/m3, also considered “fair.” AirVisual recorded HCMC’s AQI at 93, indicating “moderate” air quality, and a PM2.5 level of 32 µg/m3. It advised that sensitive groups should limit outdoor exercise, according to local media.
PM2.5 refers to ambient airborne particulates that measure up to 2.5 microns in size, much smaller than the width of a human hair. Their tiny size enables these particles to be absorbed deep into the bloodstream upon inhalation, causing potential health problems such as asthma, lung cancer, and heart disease.
Exposure to PM2.5 has been linked to adverse health effects such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory illnesses, and premature mortality.