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Hong Kong Pollution Health Risk
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Hong Kong’s efforts to fight smog started with a monitoring station in Causeway Bay that ranks the levels of pollution.
The scale is divided into five health-risk categories – low, moderate, high, very high and serious. Daily forecasts are also issued. Pollution levels at all three roadside monitoring stations hit 10 by 6pm yesterday, meaning the risk to health was “very high”.

Central and Mong Kok also hit 10 and a health alert was issued urging children, elderly people and those with heart or respiratory illnesses to “reduce to the minimum” physical exertion and activities outdoors, especially in areas of heavy traffic.

  
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Places across China are frequently hit with bouts of smog that impact health and economic activity. Joe Butler, a school teacher said “Even if the air is visibly bad, the government always finds a way to say its fine.” According to the World Bank in 2007, 16 of the world’s 20 most polluted cities are in China.

Bloomberg news reports that The air quality systems area of concentrations are on four major pollutants, namely ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and tiny particles (PM2.5 and PM10) using a scale from 1 to 10, and 10+.

Joseph Kahn and Jim Yardley of the New York Times in a 2007 article about China’s pollution problem stated that “Environmental degradation is now so severe, with such stark domestic and international repercussions, that pollution poses not only a major long-term burden on the Chinese public but also an acute political challenge to the ruling Communist Party.”

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Factory production in China’s Pearl River Delta region as well as pollutants from tens of thousands of vehicles running diesel engines has caused the pollution problem to get worse. According to Bloomberg News, Shanghai airports were forced to delay or to cancel hundreds of flights after the city’s pollution index was more than 23 times levels recommended by the World Health Organization.

A free smartphone app which issues alerts on real-time air pollution levels and health risks was also launched by the Environmental Protection Department. Cleaning up the city’s skies says Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, is a priority.



Summary:

Air quality is so bad in Hong Kong that people are recommended by Doctors to breathe as little as possible. Main pollutants are: particles, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide.

Image Credit: www.scmp.com



 

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