How Air Pollution in Vietnam Affects the Business Environment

Published 14 October 2019 by Dezan Shira & Associates

Air pollution levels in Vietnam the past few weeks have reached alarming levels, prompting the government to issue advisories asking people to stay indoors and limit outdoor activities.

While it is common to see people wearing face masks, the advisory mentioned that masks should be worn along with eye glasses when outside. It further warned that levels of Particular Matter (PM) 2.5, which are harmful when breathed, would remain high.

The highest Air Quality Index (AQI) levels were recorded in the capital Hanoi, which recorded an AQI on 272 on September 30, exceeding the unhealthy levels, while Ho Chi Minh City recorded an AQI of 153.

On September 27, Hanoi momentarily was recorded as the most polluted city in the world, as per the IQAir AirVisual monitoring app. Residents complained that Landmark 81, the tallest building in Ho Chi Minh City, which is usually clearly visible, was shrouded in haze. Several media outlets also discussed the topic and recorded several pictures of haze shrouding the city.

But air pollution is more than just a nuisance. When air quality conditions deteriorate, the government will take action to curb polluting industries and practices. Meanwhile, employers need to take additional measures to ensure that their operations and staff are not unduly affected.

What’s causing the air pollution?


This is an article appearing in Vietnam Briefing, a subsidiary of Dezan Shira & Associates. For the latest economic, regulatory and business news from Vietnam, visit