Vietnam is listed amongst the top ten countries with the worst air pollution in the world, according to the 2012 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) released during this year's World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
The annual study uses satellite data to measure air pollution concentrations and has been produced by researchers at Yale and Columbia universities.
Of 132 countries whose environments were surveyed in relation to effects on human health, Vietnam places 123rd in the air category, 80th in the water category and 79th in addressing pollution control and natural resource management challenges.
Professor Pham Ngoc Dang, chairman of the Vietnam Environment Construction Association, said air in most urban areas is filled with dust, especially in traffic junctions, construction sites and industrial parks.
According to experts, air pollution will seriously affect people's health, causing diseases related to the respiratory system, eyes, ears and skin.
The United States places 49th in the 2012 EPI, significantly behind other industrialised nations, including France (6th), the United Kingdom (9th), Germany (11th), and Japan (23rd).
Switzerland leads the world in addressing pollution control.