21 October 2005 at 10:32 am #7651
Hong Kong Wheezes as China’s Industrial Economy Belches Smog is title of an item from Bloomberg. Plenty of info and quotes, including:
“It’s an absolute scandal,” said Anthony Hedley, chairman of the department of community medicine at the University of Hong Kong. “Hong Kong is going backward in terms of pollution. The government has been non-interventionist to the point of being really negligent.”
On average Hong Kong experiences low visibility every five days, according to a CLSA report in April. Good air quality days fell to 35 percent last year compared with 45 percent in 2001, it said. Singapore is by far the cleanest city in Asia in terms of air quality, while Tokyo, Seoul, and Taipei all enjoy better air than Hong Kong, the report said.
Falling air quality in Hong Kong will affect the health of the city’s residents long into the future, said Professor Tai Hing Lam, head of the department of community medicine at the University of Hong Kong. “If air pollution affects our people at a young age, then we may see something more disastrous in the coming years,” said Lam. “Pollution is becoming a major problem in Hong Kong.” The city’s attractiveness as a travel destination is also under threat, according to industry officials such as Mark Lettenbichler, chairman of the Hong Kong Hotels Association, and Selina Chow, chairman of the Hong Kong Tourism Board. “It should be the government’s number one priority,” Chow said.