Heavy trucks on congested roads add to environmental problem, green group finds
A Friends of the Earth study has found that people in poor areas of Hong Kong are breathing the worst air, and that Sham Shui Po is the most polluted of all.
“The green group analysed the Environmental Protection Bureau’s general station readings over 13 months from January last year.”
“It found Sham Shui Po had the worst air quality, with an average index of 44.58, followed by Kwai Chung, 43.28, and Kwun Tong, 43.08.
Yuen Long registered the worst monthly average air quality five times. For the year, Yuen Long averaged 41.29, sixth of 11 districts installed with general stations for the air pollution index. All four areas are among the districts with lowest average income in Hong Kong.
The bad air quality in those areas could be due to a higher number of old diesel vehicles running on the roads, compared to other areas, said Thomas Choi Ka-man, Friends of the Earth’s senior environmental affairs officer. “The narrow roads at Sham Shui Po and heavy trucks going to the container terminal at Kwai Chung also add to the problem,” he said.”
The group also commissioned the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education to measure air pollutants in 10 districts last year by detecting respirable suspended particles and nitrogen dioxides in three or four places in each district.
Sham Shui Po had the highest concentration of nitrogen dioxides, measuring 326 parts per billion (ppb) and 466 ppb in two places. Central followed with readings of 85.03ppb and 5.6ppb. The centre of Sham Shui Po near Yen Chow Street had the most pollutants, Choi said. For respirable suspended particles, a spot in Sha Tin had the highest level (440ppb), followed by one in Kwun Tong (405ppb).
Friends of the Earth wants the government to tighten its air pollution index standard to meet the World Health Organisation’s standard and speed up the retirement of older buses to reduce emissions.”
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