Upstream sections of the Red River in northern Vietnam are contaminated with iron and lead, according to test results revealed by the Vietnam Environment Administration Friday (March 11).
The river water's lead index stood at between 0.03 and 0.04 milligrams per liter, as compared to the regulated content of 0.02 miligrams per liter.
Meanwhile, its iron content is many times higher than regulated, said the agency under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.
The tests also found that the river's section in Lao Cai Province has higher content of lubricant oil and arsenic than allowed.
Tests over the last two years have also found high pH levels, the VEA said. The pH factor measures acidity in the water.
Local press reports had mentioned that the river's section in Lao Cai Province smelled strangely and had films of red mud, prompting the agency to launch the tests.
The river's water in the adjacent Yen Bai province was found polluted with high contents of lead and cadmium as well, the Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.
So far the agency was yet to come to official conclusions about the pollution's reasons.