The Hanoitimes - Vietnam`s authorities are determined to relocate out of Hanoi`s downtown factories that harm environment and human health.
Hanoi is in the process of relocating factories posing risks of pollution out of residential areas, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Vo Tuan Nhan said at a press conference on September 4.
Nhan made the statement following the fire of light bulb warehouse of Rang Dong Light Source and Vacuum Flask Joint Stock Company in Hanoi on August 28.
Workers work on overcoming consequences of fire at light bulb warehouse. Photo: Tat Dinh
Nhan cited the company’s report the the fire released over 15kg or more of mercury into the air.
The air in front of and in the burned warehouse area has a high mercury value, which is 10 to 30 times higher than World Health Organization's recommendations, the deputy minister added.
"Thankfully, three Amalgam warehouses did not catch fire, avoiding a larger amount of mercury to be released into the air," Nhan said.
Contamination risk: authorities warn
A fire that broke out at a light bulb storage facility in Hanoi on August 28 evening destroyed two-thirds of the stocks. The facility belongs to the Rang Dong Light Source and Vacuum Flask Joint Stock Company on Ha Dinh street, Thanh Xuan district.
Vietnam’s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources then asked residents not to use food and water near the light bulb warehouse fire, although initial tests guaranteed safety.
Those living in the vicinity of the burned warehouse should be careful and closely follow personal hygiene measures advised by healthcare officials, the ministry said in a statement on August 30.
Columns of smoke rise from a fire at Rang Dong light bulb warehouse in Hanoi on August 28. Photo: Kinhtedothi.vn
"The accident still poses potential risks that might affect the environment and people's health", said the ministry.
Locals should clean walls, floors and furniture of their houses and avoid using water from open tanks. They should also stop consuming food originating in the area where the accident took place until the authorities officially announce the investigation outcomes, it said.
The ministry stated that after making a list of products, goods and materials damaged in the fire, experts and scientists will calculate the amount and reach of pollution from fluorescent and compact lamps to assess the pollution level and the scope of polluted area, if any.
The ministry also said it will closely work with Hanoi’s administration to handle the aftermath of the fire and consult with international institutions on coping with the situation.
Rang Dong, listed on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange, is a leading Vietnamese manufacturer of lighting products and equipment, electrical appliances and materials, glass products, and vacuum flasks.
The five-hour blaze destroyed a third of the inventory at a 6,000-square-meter warehouse, including many light bulbs. The company estimated the loss at VND150 billion (US$6.4 million).