A HONG Kong University-Cambridge research team found that air pollution is worse in poor districts.
Their Clean Energy and Environment Research Platform (清潔能源與環境研究平台) compared levels of PM 2.5 (particulate matter of 2.5 microns or less) and their relations with the social deprivation index in 412 district council constituency areas in Hong Kong. The higher the index, the poorer the district. They found that districts with a higher index had higher PM2.5 concentration levels. Yat Chak (逸澤) in Yuen Long has the worst pollution levels and the highest PM2.5 concentration levels, three times the World Health Organisation guideline. Districts like Fu Cheong (富昌) in Sham Shui Po and Sau Mau Ping South (秀茂坪南) in Kwun Tong also have serious air pollution levels.
PM2.5 has been medically proven to be one of the pollutants causing the most damage to health, provoking strokes, asthma and cancer.
The director of the platform, Victor Li On-kwok (李安國), called this “environmental injustice”, and suggested that the government could use economic measures to tackle PM2.5-induced environmental issues.
The study’s co-director, Jacqueline Lam Chi-kei (林哲奇), said poor people have no choice but to live in areas with dense construction and heavy traffic, with few parks close by.
(This article is published on Junior Standard on 06 February 2018)
HKU press release
Air quality in Hong Kong