Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Posts Tagged ‘Hong Kong air pollution’

HK Air Pollution = Lower Visibility + Higher Mortality

Posted by feww on January 19, 2011

Poor Air Lowers Visibility in Hong Kong, Raises Death Rates : Report

Visibility in Hong Kong continues to deteriorate due to air pollution

“Visibility in Hong Kong has deteriorated so sharply over the last 50 years because of air pollution that variations in levels can even be used to predict mortality rates, health experts warned Wednesday.” Source

Report Highlights:

  • Current Average Visibility in Hong Kong: 12.6km (7.8 miles)
  • Visibility in other polluted population centers (Paris, Berlin, Auckland and Vancouver) : 20 to 25km
  • Number of smoggy days when visibility falls below 8 km: 54 days in 2007 (up from 6.6 days in 1968)
  • HK air has 7 times more particulate than even the polluted Auckland and Vancouver (80 µgm³ —micrograms per cubic meter of  air—in HK compared to 24 in Auckland and 20 in Vancouver)
  • Each 6.5km reduction in visibility corresponds to 1.13% rise in the number of non-accidental deaths
  • An additional 1,200 deaths per year have occurred between 2007 and 2010

“Loss of visibility is a direct measure of serious harm to health. Loss of visibility kills people,” said Anthony Hedley, Honorary Professor at the School of Public Health. Source

“Air pollutants increase the stickiness of elements in the blood … With increased stickiness, blood cells stick together, they form a clot. If you form a clot, you may obstruct a vessel and if the vessel is in the heart or the head, you get a heart attack or a stroke,” Hedley said.

The true non-accidental death rates for Hong Kong may be even higher than those stated in the report, FIRE-Earth contends. According to one report:

  • Studies in Greater Vancouver have found that more than 2700 deaths and 33,000 emergency room visits could be avoided with a 25% reduction in particulate matter
  • Air pollution with particulate matter (PM) claims an average of 8.6 months from the life of every person in the European Union (EU)
  • Exposure to ground-level ozone for even short periods at relatively low concentrations has been found to significantly reduce lung function in healthy people during periods of exercise.  Source
  • Particulate air pollution causes 455,000 premature deaths in the EU each year, the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) says. Source

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Posted in air quality, Hong Kong visibility, nitrogen dioxide, particulates | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

HK’s Air Pollution Claims 600 Lives

Posted by feww on October 14, 2010

Hong Kong’s roadside air pollution breaks yet another record


Hong Kong Air Pollution. Source:
Crazy Hong Kong. Image may be subject to copyright. Click images to enlarge.

At least 594 people have died prematurely in 2010 from the effects of worsening pollution levels in HK, the University of Hong Kong’s School of Public Health has reported.

“The figure has already surpassed the official death toll of the SARS epidemic, which is believed to have killed 299 people in Hong Kong seven years ago,” a report said.

Roadside pollution set a new record in the March quarter, teh report said.

The University of Hong Kong’s Hedley Environmental Index (HEI) shows that the 2010 air pollution has already cost the region HK$1.3 billion (US$167.54 million). The deadly smog has also been responsible for 4.36 million doctor visits and about  45,000 hospital stays, the report said.

Deadly Smog Over China


Download large image
(5 MB, JPEG) — images were  acquired October 8, 2010


A high-pressure weather system over eastern China led to air pollution accumulating in the region for about a week. China’s National Environmental Monitoring Center declared air quality “hazardous” around Beijing and in 11 eastern provinces on October 10, as visibility was reduced to about 100 meters (330 feet). The poor visibility also led to  at least 32 deaths in traffic accident, reports say. “On October 8, 2010, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua and Terra satellites captured this natural color view of the smog event in China. The milky white and gray covering the center of the image is smog and fog, while the brighter whites at the left and right edges are clouds.” NASA EO said. “The Ozone Monitoring Instrument on NASA’s Aura satellite detected extremely high levels of aerosol particles (lower left image) and sulfur dioxide (lower right) on October 8. The sulfur dioxide typically comes from coal-burning power plants and smelters, and the peak concentrations—6 to 8 Dobson Units—were six to eight times the norm for China and 20 times the norm for the United States. The Aerosol Index indicates the presence of ultraviolet light-absorbing aerosols, most likely smoke from fires and industrial processes. At an AI value of 4, aerosols are so dense that you would have difficulty seeing the midday sun.”

“More than half of China’s total water supply is undrinkable. And nearly a quarter of China’s surface water is considered unsafe even for industrial use. Acid rain is also threatening major cities like Shanghai,” a report said.

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