Wednesday 10 December 2014

1484 HKSAR Name of the Day

Wincy Ng Wing-sze, Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong (SCMP Letters 10 Dec 2011) 

About Novel HKSAR Names
Name Category: Creation; Phonetic-based


Bad air truly a matter of life and death

In the two years since the government finished the review of its air quality objectives, nothing has been done about it.

The government doesn't seem to realise the health threats of Hong Kong's poor air quality.

While doctors cannot say on a death certificate that a person was "killed by air pollutants", it is well known among health professionals that air pollution is highly associated with fatal diseases.

Studies have shown that people in polluted areas develop respiratory symptoms more readily and people who are exposed to air pollutants for a long time die sooner than those who are not.

So how bad is the air in Hong Kong? It is not unusual for members of the public to think that air quality is of minimal significance and to consider that our present levels are normal and acceptable.

This is not true.

The air quality objectives have not been updated since 1987, and yet it is this standard that the government uses to assess the extent of air pollution, monitor projects and approve new ones.

The outdated standards are extremely lax compared with the World Health Organisation's air quality guidelines.

Do we not deserve better air to breathe? It is time for the government to face the challenge. No more vague emission control proposals, no more uncertain time frames, no more excuses for negligence.

We can all make a difference by expressing our concerns and urging the government to take action promptly. We all deserve a breath of fresh air.

Wincy Ng Wing-sze, Pok Fu Lam

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