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October 24th, 2009:

Can you breathe yesterday?

Air pollution index in Central reaches 172 yesterday.

Air pollution index in Central reaches 172 yesterday.

Yesterday the air pollution in Hong Kong is serious. The air pollution index in Central reaches 172 which is the second high record since 2000. The roadside readings in Causeway Bay and Mong Kok were also serious, recorded 142 and 135 respectively.

The cause of the serious pollution yesterday was high levels of nitrogen dioxide. At 8pm they were nearly 50 per cent above the target and double the new limit the government has proposed. The dispersion of pollutant was reduced because of the impact of Severe Tropical Storm Lupit near the Philippines.

But surprisingly the air quality in the Pearl River Delta had improved. The average concentration of sulphur dioxide was decreased, while other pollutants for example ozone had increased.

This show the fact that air pollution is very complex, it various in types of pollutants and different locations, and is affected by many external factors. However, we can still do much on it. Try to imagine if our air is clean with only a few pollutants, even we are under the impact of the typhoon and the dispersion of pollutant was reduced, we can still breathe clean air.


By Cheung Chi-fa, 24th Oct, 2009