Environmental Management

, Volume 63, Issue 4, pp 486–494 | Cite as

Development of a Procedure for Evaluating the Impacts of the Accidental Emission of Hazardous Chemicals, Case Study in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

  • Do Thi Thu HuyenEmail author
  • Ly Thi Bich Tram


The study aims at developing a process to evaluate the impacts of the accidental emission of hazardous chemicals. The proposed process consists of four basic steps: i) identifying risks/hazards; ii) development of the worst-case scenario; iii) simulating the emission and dispersion of the toxic chemicals; and iv) assessing the severity of the impact to the people and the surroundings. It makes use of different techniques including accidental release source term, atmospheric dispersion modeling and results in the concentration and extent of the toxic chemicals in the atmosphere for either the direct evaporation of toxic chemicals as a primary emission or the dispersion of toxic chemicals as a domino effect of a fire or explosion accident. This process has been applied in a contrived case study in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. In a suppositious accident of p–xylene spill from a pesticide factory, the assessment for the worst-case scenario showed that p–xylene concentration in the atmosphere could reach up to 8,882,381 µg/m3, that is higher than Protective Action Criteria for Chemicals–level 2 but far lower than the level 3. p–Xylene from the accident could disperse more than 20 km from the site, to a highly populated area with a large number of sensitive social economic object. The results of this assessment provide helpful information for the development of accidental response plan in the practical cases or supports the training for accident prevention and responses.


Hazardous chemical accidents AERMOD Dispersion Assessment 



This research is funded by Vietnam National University of Ho Chi Minh City (VNU–HCM) under grant number C2016-24-03. It is also a preliminary study for the project number 48/2017/HĐ–SKHCN entitled “Development of environmental accident preparedness and response plan for the industrial zones and export processing zones in Ho Chi Minh City” funded by the Department of Science and Technology of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Environment and ResourcesVietnam National UniversityHo Chi Minh CityVietnam

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