In 2011, air pollution in Hong Kong reached its highest levels ever, according to the South China Morning Report. Vehicle emissions and industrial pollution from the Pearl River Delta were two large contributors, even forcing some business professionals working in the financial center to relocate due to health concerns.
Readings at 3 roadside monitoring stations in 3 districts showed air pollution levels above the 100 mark more than 20% of the time. These levels are 10 times worse than in 2005.
The worst air pollution numbers were shown in the Central business district. Excessive readings in this district were observed 25% of the time.
Hourly readings are recorded at each of the stations throughout the year, keeping tabs on dangerous pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and other particulates. A reading over 100 means at least one pollutant fails air quality tests.
The city’s Environmental Protection Department blamed the alarming numbers on worsening background pollution, unfavorable weather conditions, and excessive numbers of older vehicles on the roads. Environmentalists immediately sent out more requests for new air quality objectives, putting blame on the government for much of this disaster.
According to the government, new air quality measures are being considered to improve air quality, and there would soon be a legislative discussion regarding the worsening problem.
This doesn’t make Hong Kong sound like the ideal place to live. If government doesn’t act soon, they may see an economic impact, with more people relocating due to health and lifestyle concerns.
Image CC licensed by Toby Oxborrow: Hong Kong air pollution