Air Pollution: Causes, Problems, and Solutions In Hong Kong

Topics: Air pollution, Hong Kong, Air Quality Index Pages: 5 (1621 words) Published: September 1, 2004
Hong Kong is one of the busiest cities in the world. It is not only prominent as an Asian commercial center, but also famous for its air pollution, which haunts the lives of thousands of Hong Kong people and wastes billions of dollars of the government and the private sectors every year.

It is an unchanging fact that air pollution in Hong Kong not only results in a waste of massive amounts of money, but also results in deterioration on the overall health standard of the Hong Kong population. No doubt that it is the task of the Government of Hong Kong to work out measures to tackle air pollution. Nevertheless, it is also the duty of the public to help and cooperate with the Government. In this essay, I will focus on two important causes of air pollution, which are vehicle emission and indoor air pollution. As for the part of problems, I will focus more on their effects to the well being of the general public. For the part of solutions, I will focus more on the issues of the Government and what the public can do to help to eliminate the problems of air pollution, so that Hong Kong can continue to prosper in the coming future

The causes and problems:

1.Vehicle Emission

Vehicle emission indeed plays a dominant role in contributing to the serious air pollution in Hong Kong. Newer engines cause less pollution but many of the vehicles in Hong Kong are poorly maintained. This is either because people cannot afford the high maintenance price or they do not have the sense to do so. Both reasons contribute to the serious air pollution in Hong Kong. The Clear The Air Organization in Hong Kong observes that Hong Kong has approximately 146,000 diesel vehicles. The legally imported diesel in Hong Kong has a maximum sulphur content of 0.05%. These diesel fuels used account for 70% of the total distance traveled on the roads. It also states that in Hong Kong, 98% of RSP and 85% of NO2 from vehicular sources come from diesels. Besides, commercial trucks in Hong Kong, like truck, and lorries are on the roads all the time. They contribute to 55% of the overall RSP and 43% of the NO2 in Hong Kong. Thus this large proportion of air pollution particles from the emission of vehicles causes Hong Kong to be one of the busiest cities, as well as one of the most polluted cities in the world.

2.Indoor Air Pollution

It is easy for people to notice the outdoor air pollution in Hong Kong, but how about indoor air pollution? It is estimated that people spend 90% of their time indoors. In Hong Kong, most of the indoor places are air-conditioned, which means, there is a high possibility that the air is poorly ventilated, especially when a large group of people are crowded together in small places. Examples of the indoor pollutants are, VOCs from paints, paint thinners, and glues for construction of furniture and buildings; environmental tobacco smoke from smoking; carbon dioxide from human breathing; radon from decayed components of some types of cement blends; formaldehyde that comes from new furniture and renovation materials; RSP from sanding wood, operating equipment and printing; harmful bacteria from ventilation, air conditioning systems, and the ozone. These cause many different health problems, such as irritation and respiratory problems, coughs, acceleration of the reoccurrence of asthma, skin rashes, headaches, legionnaire's disease and eye irritations. Prolonged exposure to these indoor air pollution sources may even cause brain damage, leukemia and cancer. Although every person in the community is pronged to these different effects of indoor air pollution, some people in the community are more vulnerable to these exposed threats of life. They are the people with respiratory diseases such as asthma and chronic bronchitis, children and the elderly. Children are more at risks than adults because children's lungs are still developing and that their airways can be more easily obstructed when irritated. They are also closer to the...
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