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Air pollution recorded at "very unhealthy" levels in Vietnam

HANOI, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- The overall air quality in Vietnam's capital Hanoi reached "very unhealthy" levels on Monday, which means the entire population is likely to be affected.

Most air monitoring stations in Hanoi reported an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 201-300 as purple showing health warnings of emergency conditions as of Monday morning.

The index recorded in some stations in Hanoi and the northern Thai Nguyen and Hung Yen provinces even surpassed 300, which means that everyone may experience more serious health effects, according to the Vietnam News Agency on Monday.

The Vietnam Environment Administration under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment suggested people frequently update the air quality information, the news agency said.

Experts said the air pollution recently is mainly due to weather factors, as Hanoi and other localities in the northern region have experienced cold and dry weather, which causes pollutants to be concentrated in the area near the ground and leads to serious pollution.

They recommend people wear face masks which can help protect them from fine particulate matters (PM2.5).

Findings of the World Health Organization have shown that air pollution is responsible for approximately 60,000 deaths in Vietnam each year.