Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Vietnamese Updates: Dioxin Decontamination to save the earth, save the people (4 May 2013)

Dioxin Decontamination to save the earth, save the people 
Thứ bẩy, ngày 04 tháng 05 năm 2013 cập nhật lúc 02:09

  "Dioxin remains as a sad remnants of war. The environmental remediation and burying dioxin hotspots are urgently essential for both health and livelihoods of people and the environment” said Assoc. Prof. Dr. Le Ke Son, Director of Office of the National Steering Committee on recovering consequences of AO/dioxin in Viet Nam (Office 33). 

The war was over; however, its consequences are still implicit in nature and everyday life. Back to history, in just 10 years (1961-1971), U.S. military sprayed 72 million liters of herbicides over the South of Vietnam. 4.8 million Vietnamese people were exposed to the spraying, as well as over 3 million people of the next generation are Agent Orange victims.

The chemical war by nature is to destroy environment, ecosystems and life. 40 years was over since the chemical war was officially ended, however, the effects on the environment and the ecosystem are still complicated.

Dioxin destroyed more than 2 million hectares of forest land, more than 150,000 ha of mangroves and 130,000 hectares of mangrove forests of the Mekong River Delta. The recent researches have identified more than 3.3 million hectares of natural land affected by toxic chemicals.

The study also shows thatin the Vietnam’s naturedioxin does not decay at all, dioxin residues are still high but in different degreesThis level depends on the level and frequency of spraying as well as depends on various characteristics of geographical terrains and climatic conditions. Dioxin levels in soil have much reducedbut still remain high in some "hot spots" areas, especially former military bases of the U.S. military and warehouses where used to load toxic chemicals such as Bien HoaDa NangPhu Cat airports.

According to the Vietnam's Ministry of Defense’s research conducted from 2000 to 2004, the average content of dioxin is about 35 ppbTEQ in Da Nang airport and Bien Hoa (35 times higher than the permitted level for non-agricultural land in the U.S). Dioxin levels in soil samples are up to 200 ppb TEQ in these areas. The consequence of the chemical war is still a burden to society in Vietnam. According tocalculations of scientists, Vietnam needs at least $ 43 million to clean up the environment and clean up dioxin contaminated areas.
According to Dr. Le Ke Sondirector of the Office 33dioxin consequences do not only affect to the environmenthuman health, but alsoto politicsinternational lawhuman rights and humanitiesTherefore, the dioxin remediation is both urgent and complex.

As directed by the Vietnam Government, three dioxin hotspots in Bien Hoa airport (240,000 cubic meters) Da Nang airport (73,000 cubic meters)Phu Cat airport (7,500 cubic meters) are in progress to clean upPreliminary results showed that some of the land after pollutioncontrol began to revive.

In the Z1 area at Bien Hoa airport94,000 cubic meters of soil was isolated since 2009In addition, some temporary construction to control dioxin spread in the surrounding area of Bien Hoa airport is being doneIn August 2012, the entire 7,500 cubic meters of dioxin-contaminated soils at Phu Cat airport (Binh Dinh provinceis treated by landfillAlong with the support of the U.S. GovernmentUnited Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment continue to deal with dioxin contaminationat Da Nang airport and Bien Hoa airport.

Up to nowat Danang airportabout 73,000 cubic meters of contaminated soil are still in the process of heating to destroy dioxin. It is expected that until 2016 these soil will be completedAt Bien Hoa airport, 240,000 cubic meters of contaminated soil and sediment has not been buried and is expected to finish before 2020.

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