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December 24th, 2011:

The invisible Killers -Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter PM2.5 and Ultrafines PM1

Download PDF : PM2.5The Killers

Dismal pollution survey prompts Taiwan’s doctors to take action

Dismal pollution survey prompts Taiwan’s doctors to take action
Taiwan’s air quality ranked an abysmal 35 out of 38 countries surveyed by the World Health Organization (WHO), with Taipei at number 551 out of the 565 cities profiled, boasting an air quality on par with “smoker’s paradise” Lebanon.

The terrible results prompted the medical industry to push for government action, with health advocates urging once again to scrap the controversial No. 6 Naphtha Cracking Project.

Experts put their heads together in a press conference held yesterday by the Taiwan Association of Obstetrics and Gynecology the Changhua Medical Alliance for Public Affairs (MAPA) and the Taiwan Academy Of Ecology.

Ko Wen-che, a surgeon at National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH), spoke as a husband whose wife had suffered first-hand the consequences of air pollution – this March, the doctor’s wife was diagnosed with lung cancer that had spread to the adrenal glands.

His wife, Ko explained, has never smoked a cigarette in her life and only discovered the disease by accident in an annual checkup.

The surgical doctor described immediate procedures to remove the tumor and is thankful that no chemotherapy was required. The diagnosis was a shock, nonetheless.

Unbeknownst to the public, Taiwan boasts the highest rate of female lung cancer patients, despite the fact that it has a relatively low smoking population.

Ko points to the air quality as the culprit, due to the island’s particulate matter (PM) index, or severe “PM pollution” problem.

Every single person residing in Taiwan is inhaling the harmful particulates, said MAPA-associated doctor Huang Min-shen, pointing out that the WHO reports found Taiwan’s air quality to be no better than countries frequently subjected to violent sandstorms.

If the government does not take some from of immediate measures, the public will continue to suffer the debilitating health effects of PM pollution, the doctor added.

street glue – what happens when it gets 12 inches thick …….?

Mayor Boris spreads pollution glue across London

Business Green – 1 day ago

By Jessica Shankleman The Mayor of London is expanding trials of an innovative dust suppressant technology that ‘glues’ pollution to the roads in a bid to 

City gets tough on polluting vehicles

SHANGHAI is to introduce tougher exhaust emission standards and ban high-polluting vehicles, green watchdogs said yesterday.

The Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau pledged this action by 2014 to tackle the growing problem of exhaust fume pollution downtown.

The city will launch the China V standards – equivalent to the Euro V standards – reducing sulfur dioxide emissions from automobile exhausts by 80 percent compared with current IV standards.

The announcement also pledged initiatives on trash sorting and waste water treatment.

More than 60,000 high-polluting vehicles – often older cars – that account for many of the city’s worst offenders will be taken off the roads.

The plan states that “with all the measures, more than 90 percent of vehicles will be able to meet the new emissions standard by 2014.”

Automobile exhausts contribute 66 percent of nitrogen oxide and 90 percent volatile organic compounds – both major air pollutants – in downtown areas, said Cai Zhigang, an official with the bureau.

“Automobile emissions are more harmful to residents’ health than industrial pollution as they’re in closer proximity to people,” Cai said.

About 74 percent of the pollution comes from the 280,000 or so vehicles – 17 percent of the city’s total number – that fail to meet the China I standard for gasoline and China III standard for kerosene, he said.

Emissions have also become a major cause of hazy weather, as some carbon particulates will be formed when kerosene and gasoline with high sulfur content are not fully burned, according to FuQingyan, senior engineer at the Shanghai Environmental Monitoring Center.

Particles of less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter are also mainly a product of motor vehicles emissions.

They are small enough to be inhaled deeply into the lungs, causing long-term health damage.

The city also plans to build seven garbage treatment facilities for sorted waste in suburban districts by 2014, when a network to support domestic garbage sorting will cover most of Shanghai’s downtown neighborhoods, the authority said.

A new treatment facility for dangerous waste will be built on Chongming Island.

Eight sewage treatment plants in suburban districts will be upgraded and renovated to increase the city’s water treatment ability.

More than 85 percent of the city’s sewage will be treated by 2014, according to the environment watchdog.

Source:Shanghai Daily

40.5% of the PM2.5 in Xiamen comes from motor vehicle exhaust – What’s On Xiamen

NewsXiamen News40.5% of the PM2.5 in Xiamen comes from motor vehicle exhaust

40.5% of the PM2.5 in Xiamen comes from motor vehicle exhaust

Updated: 24 Dec 2011

Read more on Xiamen Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau Xiamen air pollution motor vehicle exhaust Xiamen PM2.5

PM 2.5, or particulate matter under 2.5 micrometers in size, refers to the fine airborne particles that are considered extremely hazardous to people's health as they go deeper into the lungs than the larger particles that exist in the air

PM 2.5 are considered extremely hazardous to people’s health as they go deeper into the lungs than the larger particles that exist in the air.
According to the news revealed by Mr Xie Haisheng, director of the Xiamen Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau, there are now about 30 – 40 ug/m3 (micrograms per cubic meter) PM2.5 in the air in Xiamen, and 40.5% of the PM2.5 in Xiamen comes from motor vehicle exhaust, reports Xiamen Daily.

PM 2.5, or particulate matter under 2.5 micrometers in size, refers to the fine airborne particles that are considered extremely hazardous to people’s health as they go deeper into the lungs than the larger particles that exist in the air.

Environmental experts said the PM 2.5 content in the air in Xiamen does almost no harm to public health.

Two air monitoring stations in Haicang and Hongwen have already carried out the monitoring of PM2.5 in real time since last year, and another six air monitoring stations will join the monitoring of PM2.5 next year. By then, Xiamen will cover the monitoring of PM2.5 to the whole city.

But the monitoring data is now only used for scientific research and will not be made available to the public until introduction of new national standards.

According to a recent timetable set by China’s environment watchdog, cities in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta, as well as Southwest China’s Chongqing municipality and provincial capitals, are requested to monitor PM2.5 and ozone starting in 2012, and the country’s 113 key environmental protection cities will have to start monitoring PM2.5 in 2013, while all county-level cities should follow the rule by 2015.

However, according to the needs of the public, relevant Xiamen environmental protection departments said, they may release the daily PM2.5 monitoring results to the public via public media in advance than the designated 2013 time limit.

Click to read Chinese version


End of dirty trucks for Port of LA

Trucks servicing the port will have to have 2007 engines or newer

Following the recent announcement from the Port of Long Beach, the Port of Los Angeles has also announced that it’s Clean Trucks Program will see the permanent ban of polluting trucks from its port terminals beginning January 1st, 2012.

Around 1,473 of the current drayage fleet of 11,772 trucks currently serving the port will retire from port service in the New Year. All trucks serving the port will be required to have 2007 or newer engines.

“The Clean Truck Program has shown that you can be green and grow the Port of Los Angeles at the same time,’’ said Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor of Los Angeles. “By cutting harmful diesel emissions, we are building a healthier Los Angeles.”

The port said emissions studies comparing overall emission for 2010 with those of 2005 showed a 92% reduction of sulphur oxides (SOx), an 89% drop in diesel particulate matter (pm), and a 77% reduction of nitrogen oxides (NOx).

“The Port of Los Angeles, along with our industry partners, has made the business of moving cargo cleaner,” said Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D., Executive Director at the Port of LA. “The results speak for themselves, and we couldn’t be more proud of reaching this milestone.”

Samantha Cacnio, Vancouver News Desk, 20th December 2011 19:18 GMT

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Election losers are given council seats

South China Morning Post

Clear the Air says:

The face of the HK Government shows through its wheeling and dealing – what is the point of having elections ?

OK we know the DAB cheated .

Never mind the DAB cheats are still elected.

Dear Lau Wong Fat – we know you lost and the people do not want you but that does not matter, here take a seat, mate, and give your Heung Yee Kuk votes to Henry.

We already moved the new incinerator from your backyard so your land and property prices remain stable.

Election losers are given council seats

Fears for democracy as three candidates rejected at ballot box last month are appointed to district councils, while pan-democrats are frozen out

Emily Tsang 
Dec 24, 2011

At least three contenders for district council seats who were rejected by voters are among 68 appointed by the government, sparking renewed concern over the development of local democracy in Hong Kong.

The appointments, which ensure that the government-friendly camp has secured the chairman’s seat on all 18 district councils, will weaken the pan-democratic camp and affect its ability to build support at the grass-roots level, say observers.

Of the 68 appointees announced on Thursday, almost all are from the Beijing-friendly camp and 10 are from the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, which emerged as the biggest winner of last month’s polls, with 136 of the 405 seats open to election. None of the appointees is from the pan-democrat camp.

At least three appointees are candidates rejected at the ballot box. Lau Wong-fat, who lost his seat as Tuen Mun Rural Committee chairman in an election earlier this year and was, as a result, lost his ex officio seat on Tuen Mun district council, has been given a seat on the council by Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen under the appointment system. Two members of the Beijing-friendly Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, Peter Wong Kit-hin and Marina Tsang Tze-kwan – both beaten by the Democratic Party in the 2007 district council elections – were appointed to the Wong Tai Sin and Kwai Tsing district councils respectively this year.

The Democratic Party’s Chai Man-hon, who defeated Tsang four years ago, said he was “in awe” at finding his former election rival had been appointed.

“This is against the spirit of democracy,” he said. “There is no need for an election any more, as it is not respecting the people’s voice at all. They can just wait for the government’s appointment after losing the race.”

The government’s appointments also overturned pan-democrat influence on the Kwai Tsing district council – the only district where the pan-democrats dominate and where they won 16 of 29 seats. By adding five appointees to the council, the number of government-friendly councillors jumps from 13 to 18.

A member of the council, the Democratic Party’s Eric Lam Lap-chi, said: “The chairmen are responsible for the setting of agendas, arrangement of government officials to attend meetings and so on. [This] means he can hold up sensitive issues on the agenda, or pass funding only for activities organised by pro-government people who are already well-resourced.

“We will suffer a lot of hardship in fighting for resources.”

The system of political appointments has long been criticised as undemocratic. The government agreed to scrap a third of the 102 appointed district council seats in September.

A government spokesman said: “All the 68 members are appointed in their personal capacity. They all have a good knowledge of district affairs and are dedicated to serving the community.”

Beijing’s hazardous blue sky

December 05, 2011
In the first analysis of US embassy “Twitter” data on pollution, Steven Q Andrews finds
major failures in Chinese air quality assessments. Tighter standards are on their way, but
will continue to fudge the health risks.

December 05, 2011In the first analysis of US embassy “Twitter” data on pollution, Steven Q Andrews findsmajor failures in Chinese air quality assessments. Tighter standards are on their way, butwill continue to fudge the health risks.

Download full PDF : http___www.chinadialogue

Measures to improve air quality Wish Wash no action talk only

11: Measures to improve air quality (yawn)

Hong Kong (HKSAR) – Following is a question by the Hon Tanya Chan and a written reply by the Secretary for the Environment, Mr Edward Yau, in the Legislative Council meeting today (December 21):


Regarding efforts to improve air quality and update air quality reports, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) given that most environmental protection authorities in major countries worldwide make public their air pollution control measures and the effectiveness of these measures annually (e.g. Mainland’s Ministry of Environmental Protection published five brief periodic reports on emission reduction in respect of major pollutants in 2011), yet the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) in Hong Kong does not publish similar periodic reports at present, and that apart from the annual updating of the report entitled “Air Quality in Hong Kong”, the latest study report on the EPD web site was compiled two years ago, of the reasons why EPD has not updated study reports on air quality in Hong Kong or on air quality improvement for a long time;

(b) given that the SAR Government and the Guangdong Provincial Government have jointly implemented the air quality improvement measures under the Pearl River Delta Regional Air Quality Management Plan with a view to meeting the targets of reducing the emission of four major air pollutants, namely sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, respirable suspended particulates and volatile organic compounds by 2010, whether the two Governments have set new emission reduction targets; if they have, of the new targets; if not, the reasons for that; and

(c) given that the Chief Executive (CE) stated in the 2010-2011 Policy Address that the Government and franchised bus companies were conducting a trial to retrofit Euro II and Euro III buses with selective catalytic reduction devices to reduce emission of nitrogen oxides from these buses, and that CE also announced in the 2011-2012 Policy Address the provision of subsidies to owners of liquefied petroleum gas taxis and light buses to help them replace catalytic converters in their vehicles, yet a study report indicated that selective catalytic reduction devices might increase the level of nitrogen oxides, whether such a situation has arisen in the trial scheme of retrofitting buses with catalytic reduction devices (trial scheme); as the authorities advised at the meeting of the Panel on Environmental Affairs of this Council held in July 2010 that they would endeavour to have the initial results of the trial scheme ready by end 2011, of the progress at present; whether the authorities have any plan to submit the report on the trial scheme to this Council?



(a) The Environmental Protection Department publicises the details and effectiveness of our air pollution control measures through the annual air quality report and the bi-annual reports submitted to the Panel on Environmental Affairs of Legislative Council (LegCo) on the progress of the various air quality improvement measures implemented in Hong Kong and Pearl River Delta (PRD) region under the PRD Regional Air Quality Management Plan. We have uploaded the reports published in 2011 to the following web pages of the Department for public access:

(i) Air Quality in Hong Kong 2010:

(ii) Progress of Measures under PRD Regional Air Quality Management Plan:

Moreover, we shall consult the LegCo and other stakeholders and upload the relevant information to the Department’s website for public access whenever we have plan to launch new air quality improvement measures. (yawn)

The progress of these measures will also be elaborated in the reports prepared under the PRD Regional Air Quality Management Plan.

(b) To continue improving the air quality in the PRD region, the two governments are working in earnest to implement the emission reduction measures under the PRD Regional Air Quality Management Plan, which focus on power plants, motor vehicles and the more polluting industrial processes. The two governments are now conducting the final assessment on achieving the 2010 emission reduction targets. On the basis of the final assessment, the two governments will seek to complete a joint study on the emission reduction arrangements for the next phase and set emission reduction targets to further improve regional air quality.

(c) Catalytic converters are devices making use of catalyst media used for reducing motor vehicle emissions. They come in different forms in terms of applications to different types of vehicle.

“Three-way catalytic converters” are applied to petrol and LPG vehicles. This type of converter oxidises harmful carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons to carbon dioxide and water, and reduces nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide to nitrogen and oxygen. In general their emission reduction efficiency can be over 90%.If vehicle owners do not replace the worn out three-way catalytic converters in time, the vehicle emissions would be increased drastically. As for the “diesel oxidation catalysts” referred to in a research report published by academics of the Chinese University of Hong Kong earlier, they reduce suspended particulates (including PM2.5), carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons emissions through an oxidisation process.

During the process, it may oxidise some of the nitric oxide (NO) in the exhaust gas into nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

In recent years, vehicle manufacturers began to use selective catalytic reduction (SCR) devices to reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) (including NO and NO2) from the emissions of diesel vehicles. According to overseas experience, it can effectively reduce the NOxemissions by about 60%. Since NO will further oxidise to NO2 in the atmosphere after being emitted from vehicles, reducing NOxemissions from vehicles (in particular franchised buses, which make up an important part of the vehicles running in urban areas) is the key to tackling the problem of local roadside NO2 pollution.

Regarding retrofitting Euro II and III franchised buses with SCR devices, we have retrofitted three buses (comprising two Euro II and one Euro III buses) with SCR devices for trial in September 2011.

We are now retrofitting another three buses (also comprising two Euro II and one Euro III buses) for trial. We expect that the retrofit can be completed in February 2012. We will review the initial results after the first six months of the trial to understand as soon as possible the feasibility of retrofitting these Euro II and III buses with SCR devices on a large-scale and their effectiveness in reducing air pollutants, and report the initial trial results to the Subcommittee on Improving Air Quality under the Legislative Council Panel on Environmental Affairs.


Source: HKSAR Government