Air Pollution in Hong Kong

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Air Pollution Index (API) is the conversion of ambient respirable suspended particulates (RSP), sulphur dioxide (SO2), carbon monoxide (CO), ozone (O3) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) concentration measured at the air quality monitoring network to a scale of 0 to 500. The lower the level, the better quality of air we can breathe. If the index is above 100, there will be an adverse acute health effect to human. The number of days which had a record of API 100 or above keeps increasing these years, which brings many problems to us.

According to the International Monetary Fund, the poor air quality in Hong Kong and around the Pearl River Delta is not only a regional problem, but a global concern that could undermine Hong Kong¡¦s competitiveness. This has been reflected in the difficulties of attracting and retaining high-skilled workers and reluctance of giving birth to children by the Hong Kong citizens.

Source:
Department of Community Medicine, School of Public Health, University of Hong Kong

The graph above shows the air quality in Hong Kong is far worse than the Air Quality Guidelines issued by the WHO and the other major cities in the world. Therefore, we are going to focus on how to enhance the air quality in Hong Kong and make Hong Kong a healthy city for everybody to enjoy their lives. From the data issued in the Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventory Report by the Environmental Protection Department, every Hong Kong citizen produces 5.5 tons of CO2 in 2005. Though it is less than the 6.5 tons per capita of the Global Warming Potential Weighted Emission, we still can do something to contribute to our environment. We have to identify what the major sources of pollution are, so that we can further improve the air quality in Hong Kong.

From what we can see on the left, the two major sources of air pollution are the emission from power plants and vehicles.

They contribute 75 % of nitrogen oxides and respirable suspended particulates....
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