Reply To: Hong Kong suffers Chronic Air Pollution


Hello, Donald Tsang, hope you have a little time to read about health impacts of respirable suspended particles. Try, for instance, this CNN item, which mentions Hong Kong, and includes:

What is most disturbing, is the increasing evidence of a link between ultrafine particle pollution and an incidence of heart disease. According to an article in "Heart," the journal of the British Cardiac Society: "Epidemiology has clearly shown a link between increases in particulate air pollution and deaths and admissions caused by heart failure, myocardial infarction and arrhythmia." While scientists have yet to fully explain exactly how the presence of the ultra-fine pollutants causes increased heart disease, "the association of air pollution with cardiac mortality and morbidity is beyond doubt," the journal says. Many pollution researchers believe vehicle exhausts pump out microscopic specks of carbon which are coated with chemicals such as chromium, peroxide and hydrocarbons resulting from the burnt fuel. These particles measure less than one-tenth of a micron across. They are so small that they can pass easily through the walls of a human lung and penetrate into the body’s red blood cells. From there, they wreak health havoc, penetrating the body’s cells and disabling them. Recent laboratory studies suggest these ultrafine particles can be up to 50 times more damaging than bigger particles, possibly triggering heart attacks. Diesel emissions are thought to be disproportionately responsible for pumping out ultra-fine particles, making people living or working close to major transport routes especially vulnerable.

Invisible enemy spurs health worries Asia confronts growing problem of ultrafine particles See also new thread I’ve started: Airborne particulates in Hong Kong – health risks