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Air pollution reaches highest level of year in Hong Kong

03.03.08 07:16 – Trend News

Hong Kong was wrapped in dense smog Monday as air pollution in the notoriously hazy city of 6.9 million reached its highest level of the year so far. ( dpa )

People with heart disease or respiratory illnesses were warned to avoid outdoor activities as readings on the city’s air pollution index topped 150 for the first time in 2008.

The highest readings were in the Causeway Bay shopping district where a reading of 155 was recorded while pollution levels in Central and Mongkok in Kowloon were also very high.

Any reading over 100 on the index, which measures pollutants at street level, is considered high while anything in the region of 150 upwards is considered very high.

Monday’s smog came as a stark reminder that pollution is a major issue in Hong Kong which will in August host the equestrian events of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The Swiss team in January withdrew its dressage team because it fears conditions in Hong Kong in the height of summer will too much for horses to cope with.

Hong Kong’s government has taken measures to try to reduce pollution but much of it blows down from factories in neighbouring southern China.

Pollution levels have worsened sharply in the past decade with smog so thick on some days of the year that it is impossible to see from one side of the city’s landmark Victoria Harbour to the other.

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