Despite consuming a large amount of chemicals, most Vietnamese textile and garment firms pay little attention to chemical management, leading to passive reaction during any accident, the Ministry of natural resources and environment said recently. As most companies are small- and medium-sized, their focus on environmental management has been minimal. The volume of chemicals, including acids, alkalis, solvents and various salts, consumed in the textile and garment industry is around 9 mn tonnes per year. However, their management has remained weak, according to a report.

Most companies show interest in this critical task when a chemical-related accident occurs, Phan Quonh Chi, Deputy General Secretary of the Vietnam Textile and Garment Association, said. Deputy Director of the Institute of Environmental Sciences Nguyen Tho Phuong Mai said very few companies have installed the legally-mandatory wastewater treatment systems. Dyeing enterprises have been found to violate environmental regulations, with many repeat offenders.

PangRim Neotex Company in Northern Phú Tho Province has been found discharging untreated wastewater into the Hong river six times since 2010. The discharged wastewater contained excessive levels of pollutants such as ammonium nitrate, coliform and biochemical oxygen, which were between 6.9 and 24.7 times higher than the permitted levels.