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July 6th, 2015:

Health warning issued as Hong Kong air pollution expected to hit ‘serious’ levels

Submitted by calum.gordon on Jul 6th 2015, 7:34pm News›Hong Kong›Health & Environment

Chris Lau

The Environmental Protection Department is warning of increasingly harmful pollution levels later today, after “very high” Air Quality Health Indexes (AQHI) were recorded in busy areas of Hong Kong this afternoon.

The department warned that air pollution might even hit “serious” levels in some areas of the city this evening.

The index, which is an indicator of the short-term health impact pollutants have on people, reached a peak of 10 at the general monitoring stations in Central and Western districts and at a roadside station in Causeway Bay at 4pm.

This puts the health risk category at “very high” – meaning that children, the elderly and people with existing heart or respiratory illnesses are advised to reduce outdoor activities to a minimum, or even avoid them.


All pedestrians have been advised to avoid areas with heavy traffic, the department warned this afternoon.

A spokesperson from the environmental watchdog said that rise in the index is likely to persist as a continental airstream continues to affect the coastal areas of Guangdong.

The airstream coupled with light winds are likely to contribute further to the high pollution readings, as weather conditions continue to raise the ozone and trap pollutants in the atmosphere around Hong Kong.

During “very high” levels of pollution, employers of outdoor workers performing heavy manual work are advised to reduce their employees’ outdoor exposure.


Employers of all types of workers should take preventive measures when the index reaches “serious”, the department said.

By 6pm, Kwun Tong had also joined its counterparts on Hong Kong Island to register pollution levels of 10 on the AQHI scale.

Out of the 15 stations across Hong Kong, 11 recorded “very high” levels of pollution with index readings of between 7 and 10. Any figure this above would be considered as “serious”.