Thousands of people in Hoa Binh Village’s Nghia Hoa commune in central Quang Ngai Province earn money by recycling used tyres, regardless of pollution and health risks.
In the village, used tyres are seen lying everywhere, in yards, gardens and on either side of the roads. Used tyres, purchased from all corners of the country, are sold to truck or tyre manufacturing plants where products are made from them, depending on quality.
Figures from the local authority showed that more than 1,200 people in the village have chosen this profession. Profits are between US$10.3- $25.9 per tyre via purchasing or selling.
Tran Thi Ha Vu, deputy head of the provincial People’s Committee’s environment protection department, said environmental protection and labour safety and hygiene in the village were weak. Most of the labourers work without protective clothing and in substandard working conditions. They face a fire risk too, as rubber is a flammable material.
Nguyen Van Ba, deputy chairman of Nghia Hoa Commune’s People’s Committee, said the profession has created jobs for local people, but the risk of getting disease should be considered carefully.
The constant inhalation of rubber dust is very harmful for the respiratory system and can cause headaches, dizziness, difficulty in breathing, and respiratory paralysis.
Ba said the committee has considered shifting household businesses to other places with an area of more than one hectare to help reduce pollution and health risks to other local people, while protecting the income of the businesses.