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View Poll Results: My concern level with HK air pollution is....

Voters
22. You may not vote on this poll
  • RED-I am alarmed and this may affect my length of stay here

    14 63.64%
  • ORANGE-I'm scared but it's too soon to say whether this will affect my length of stay here

    1 4.55%
  • YELLOW-I'm watching cautiously but am not too upset at the moment

    6 27.27%
  • GREEN-This is the way it is and I'm cool with it

    1 4.55%
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Not Your Imagination: HK Air Pollution Going Up EXPONENTIALLY--Chart

  1. #9
    taysty is offline Registered User
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    @ nicolejoy

    I totally agree with you for the hayfever thing. I remember when i was studying in Sydney, there was one time that the doc gave me 2 or 3 days of sick leave seeing how sick i was. I practically cant do anything except just lying and sleeping.

    He even want to use the breather for asthma patients. :(

  2. #10
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by taysty View Post
    @ nicolejoy

    I totally agree with you for the hayfever thing. I remember when i was studying in Sydney, there was one time that the doc gave me 2 or 3 days of sick leave seeing how sick i was. I practically cant do anything except just lying and sleeping.

    He even want to use the breather for asthma patients. :(
    I had to go on the nebulizer (breathing machine for asthma patients) as well as asthmatic medication last summer when I was taken to the hospital by ambulance because I couldn't breathe. And I DO NOT HAVE ASTHMA. All I know is that my lungs hurt and my eyes burn half of the time when I'm outside in HK. Not fun. Never been to Australia so I wouldn't know how it would be for me there but in the States completely fine.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  3. #11
    Koan is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicolejoy View Post
    Better than NOT allowing him to breathe right? ;) ;)

    It's funny though, the asthma rate in Australia is WORSE than the asthma rate here. Yes Hong Kong has a lot of pollution, but Australia has a ridiculous amount of "natural particles" in the air - pollen, etc. My hayfever is MUCH worse in Australia than in Hong Kong. I find that the pollen in Oz affects me a lot more than the pollution here. The pollution doesn't tend to bother me too much.

    My daughter tends to get an "allergic cough" when the weather changes, and the doc says she may be slightly asthmatic - but both her father and I were asthmatic as kids (I grew out of it though, he still has a bit of asthma) so I think it's probably more genetic than the environment, and I know that for asthma, HK is still better than Australia when you look at the rates of the disease.
    ITA.

    I have fairly severe asthma. I am hospitalised at least once a year, I take inhaled steroids twice a day, bla bla bla. But my asthma is better here than in Australia. The big difference is that here the air is so filthy nothing can live. The only time I have severe attacks is when I get a cold or flu. Unlike when I'm in Australia where pollen, grass, colds, etc can trigger an attack. The pollution certainly doesn't help when I am already suffering, but it hasn't triggered an attack for me.

  4. #12
    megan2008 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmyH View Post
    Funnily enough, before we moved here my son used to get sick a lot (he was prem). In the UK he had numerous chest infections and pneumonia as his lungs were under developed at birth. We lived quite close to the hospital and spend many nights in there with him over the four years we lived there. The doctors suspected he may develop asthma.

    Since we moved here, he has been to the doctors a grand total of three times, all of which were just for check ups and issue with his eyes. He has not been on any medication and seems to be coping quite well with the air quality.

    But, when I travel in to central (on the rare occasions that I do!) I can feel it on my skin and I do struggle to catch my breath. My children are rarely on hong kong island though as we live in the new territories.
    Same with my daughter; she had pnemonia three times in one year and I was told that she had reactive airway disease (children can't be diagnosed with asthma until after 3 or 5 years old (not sure which); she was 1.5 when she first got pnemonia. This was back in the states where it is very cold. The doctor told me that when we move back to HK when could ween off of the inhaler because of the warmer air. Since we have been back, she has been off the inhaler and breathing wonderfully (knock on wood). I believe it is from the warmer air.

  5. #13
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koan View Post
    The big difference is that here the air is so filthy nothing can live.
    Oh my word. That is truly "comforting." :P
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  6. #14
    nicolejoy's Avatar
    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koan View Post
    The big difference is that here the air is so filthy nothing can live.
    I don't think that's "scientifically true". I think that the big difference is that Australia has a lot of trees and plants such as the Wattle that put a LOT of pollen into the air, also mowing grass also puts a lot of grass particles into the air too. Hong Kong for one isn't as green - and what trees we DO have don't release pollen as badly as a lot of the Australian natives.

  7. #15
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Something I find interesting about the comments so far on this thread is that many people are talking about allergies and asthma--which of course, make one's life miserable and unbearable and in some cases can prove very dangerous (as Koan has talked about) but in the vast majority of cases is one of those discomforts in life that most people use medication to deal with. Many people suffer from allergies and asthma all over the world for various reasons (high pollen content in the air, for example, as nicolejoy pointed out or even personal immune system issues). People who live in somewhat pristine environments may still have problems with asthma or allergies despite breathing cleaner air.

    But, what I'd like to talk about--and maybe others have more information regarding this--is the toxic properties found in the air in HK. I don't think you can go and get an antihistamine or steroid to help your lungs cope with (or clean them of) toxic matter in the air--such as sulfur dioxide *damages lungs when inhaled*; nitrogen oxide *causes pulmonary edema*; carbon monoxide *toxic to the central nervous system and heart, can severely affect fetuses, causes headaches and dizziness*; VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) *aromatic compounds such as benzene, toluene and xylene are potential carcinogens and may cause leukemia, cause "sick building syndrome", contribute to respiratory problems*; ozone *irritation of the respiratory system and respiratory infections, inflammation and damage to the lining of the lungs*; POPs (Peristant Organic Pollutants) *death and illness, disruption of the endocrine, reproductive and immune systems, neurobehavioral disorders, cancers*; Airborne Particles *asthma, lung cancer, cardiovascular problems*

    This goes beyond allergies and asthma. And while I am happy to hear any good news come out of the fact that HK's visibility is less than 8 km for 30% of the year now--to hear that asthma sufferers and people who have problems with pollen might find HK a better place for them. I don't think we can just be delusional about the reality of air pollution in this city. Because a few people who suffered from asthma have benefited from lower pollen levels in HK does not make any of the above toxic substances that you and your children are breathing every day any less damaging or cancerous.

    I wish I could find an image of an ad from Clean The Air Hong Kong that frequently runs in HK Magazine with a picture of a surgical mask and a heading that says "Deadlier than Swine Flu and SARS"--air pollution kills ____ people each year in Hong Kong.

    The government is under pressure to do something. But when you have a Chief Executive who says non sequitur things like this:

    "The life expectancy in Hong Kong is among the highest in the world ... you can come to only one conclusion: we have the most environmentally friendly place for people, for executives, for Hong Kong people to live."
    However, there seems to be a general delusion (ignoring the elephant in the room) about the real air quality of HK air which the EPA has been criticized for--basically Hong Kong uses it's own made-up air quality measurements and does not use international standards (trying to hide something?) and does not even report on some of the major pollutants. How many of us have listened to the evening news only to hear the weather caster say, "The pollution forecast for tomorrow ranges from LOW to HIGH." What does that even mean? It's like saying, "Tomorrow it could be freezing or hot."
    Last edited by thanka2; 02-11-2011 at 03:12 PM.
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  8. #16
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

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