Vietnam commune told to clean up act to halt cancer

Vietnam commune told to clean up act to halt cancer

Postby admin » Mon Apr 03, 2006 5:02 am

Posted: 23 Feb 2006 07:57 pm

"Vietnam northern commune told to clean up act to halt cancers"

Thanh Nien News - February 22, 2006

Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem instructed government agencies Tuesday to adopt measures to save people living in a northern commune from carcinogenic industrial waste.

Thach Son commune in Phu Tho province, with a population of over 7,000, is located within a triangle formed by the Lam Thao phosphate and chemical factory, the Bai Bang Paper mill, and battery maker Vinh Phuc.

Effluents from these plants have polluted the environment and affected people’s health so badly that Thach Son has been nicknamed "cancer village".

Of 304 deaths reported since 1991, 106 had been cancer-related, Tuoi Tre newspaper quoted the Phu Tho Health Department as reporting.

Twenty-two residents are currently undergoing treatment for liver, stomach, and lung tumors.

The deputy PM has directed the Ministries of Natural Resources and Environment, and Industry, and the Phu Tho authorities to instruct factories in the area to modernize technologies and draw up a comprehensive plan to resolve environmental issues.

He told the health ministry to work with the Phu Tho healthcare authorities and perform regular health checks on Thach Son residents.

Khiem also told the province People’s Committee to speed up implementation of a project to supply clean water to all residents in the commune.

A survey carried out by the Environment Protection Division and the Institute of Environment Technology in late 2005 showed Thach Son to have sulfur dioxide, sulfur trioxide, lead, hydrochloric acid, hydrofluoric acid, and ammonia all above permitted levels.

The pollutants were concentrated mainly around the three factories.

The water from most wells in Thach Son too was found polluted with high content of hazardous metals as were vegetables and fish in the area.

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