Air pollution affects everyone in Hong Kong, from the womb to the tomb, regardless of socieconomic class. Not surprisingly, the poor are disproportionately impacted because they are unable to move out of some of the most polluted, congested areas in the city. Other groups who are more sensitive to air pollution are the elderly and very young. Read this letter addressed to Legco by Professor Hedley about child health.
Because of its widespread impact on society, it is imperative that the government regulate air quality according to its health impacts on the population, rather than the interests of big business.
Since 1987, the World Health Organization has issued Air Quality Guidelines (”AQG”) to assist governments to protect public health. These AQGs are periodically revised to take into account the latest scientific research on the health impacts of air pollution.
CAN urges the government to recognize the prime importance of public health by adopting the WHO’s Air Quality Guidelines. Currently, Hong Kong’s Air Quality Objectives permit emissions which exceed the WHO AQGs by two to four times.