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Pollution always this bad?

  1. #1
    Ali71 is offline Banned
    Join Date
    May 2007
    hong kong

    Pollution always this bad?

    We've only been in Hong Kong a short time and the pollution over the last few days has really freaked me out about whether we made the right decision to come. It seems so bad, much worse than I'd heard. Is it normally like this ? July and August were so clear! I've got the an air purifier and plants in the flat to help; and I feel the air conditioning also clears the air, but going outside I worry about my LO (18 months). Please tell me it's not going to be like this for another 10 months until the wind changes, otherwise I shall seriously think about going back to the UK. Someone did say it was the worst day of the year, I am hoping they were right.?

  2. #2
    Gaelle is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Hong Kong

    Hello Ali71
    Usually the air quality is dreadful between October and April!
    I am also very worry about my baby health.
    I try to give her only organic and good quality of food to compensate.
    I think also to leave HK for this reason.

  3. #3
    Blee is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Hong Kong

    Yes - I grew up in Hong Kong and I can really see the air quality deteriorating every year. It is really unbearable sometimes. We had our summer holiday in the mountains in Austria this year and the air and water is like from heaven compared to Hong Kong.


    We don't plan to leave the city because Hong Kong is home for us. But we did moved to Stanley a few years ago. We like it there because it is not so crowded, not so far from the city, totally self-sufficient and the air seems a lot fresher. My baby is now 1.5 years old. We always take him for walks around Stanley, go to the beach or hike around Tai Tam Reservoir. We would avoid places like Causeway Bay or even Central sometimes. The air and also the crowd there are just dreadful. A lot of children have asthma in Hong Kong - I hope my baby will be lucky not to develop that.

  4. #4
    JennyB is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Discovery Bay

    No, this is pretty much as bad as it gets. It's not going to be this dreadful until May, although there will be other bad days. The visibility for the rest of the year is never as good as July and August but it's not usually as bad as last week.

    Blee is right, air quality is better away from the downtown areas, because although the pollution is bad due to the number of factories and power stations in the nearby part of mainland China, local traffic pollution is a heavy contibutor.

  5. #5
    aussiegal is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    We live Southside and the pollution has also been terrible. Sure it's not as bad as Central but it's still completely disgusting. We will definitely not be staying here. Nothing is worth breathing in this air, I don't know how people can put up with it. We had three beautiful months this summer and it's so sad to see those days go. Hong Kong is a beautiful place that will be unbearable to live in in a few years time. For anyone who has come from a place with good air i think it is already too bad to put up with :(

    Such a shame, it has so many other things going for it.

  6. #6
    niutalent is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Hong Kong

    We moved to Southern California about 10 months ago, partly due to the deteriorating air conditions in HK. We lived there for almost 11 years but with the birth of our daughter last year, it was really time to go. Although we loved taking walks and getting out of the flat, I always wondered whether I was doing my baby more harm than good! People always complain about the smog in L.A. but I tell them, it's nothing compared to HK - I find the air so refreshing clear here!

  7. #7
    Sleuth is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Fo Tan
    Quote Originally Posted by Ali71 View Post
    Is it normally like this ? July and August were so clear! Please tell me it's not going to be like this for another 10 months until the wind changes, otherwise I shall seriously think about going back to the UK.
    The air will remain this way until the outdoor temps heat up.
    In a nutshell, when Tibet heats up it sucks air off the ocean and HK air is clean. When Tibet cools down, the sinking air forces the air out of China and HK air is dirty.
    This last typhoon cleared the air somewhat because it was to the west of HK so the air was once again coming off the ocean.
    This only pertains to the upper level pollutants (the ones that make it so you can't see the horizon); obviously the air coming out of China has nothing to do with the ground level stuff caused by the cars and other local pollution producers.
    And I would say for the last few weeks the pollution has been worse than it was all last winter. So it (probably) won't always be as bad, but you won't see good again until the summer.

  8. #8
    paul prengel's Avatar
    paul prengel is offline Registered User
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    Sep 2007


    I moved here (Shekou in Shenzhen) last year November from Germany. We live right across the Bay from Hong Kong. Over the winter months the visibility here was entirely different than what I had been used to in Europe and the years I lived in the USA. However -I always knew that the climate of the South China Sea is something entirely different and it is not the pollution that causes it. It is just really hazy.

    Pollution does not go away in summer to return in fall. Local pollution is primarily at the street level and if you have a baby -mine is 22 months -he/she will most likely be even closer to the ground and breathe in all that micro dust from trucks and older cars - the really nasty stuff.

    We live high up in a high rise to be away from the street level as much as possible. The fact that Hong Kong and our part of Shenzhen are surrounded by the sea really lowers the pollution. I can't imagine what it would be like to live in Guangzhou or some of the big heavy industry cities of the interior.

    The new bridge and road from Hong Kong to Shenzhen on our side at the foot of NanShan mountain has a new huge outdoor screen monitor that shows the actual air quality with several values on the screen and always updated instantly. It is not as bad as I thought. So don't take the visibility as an indicator of pollution levels. And try tom keep babies away from the street level as much as possible.


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