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Air quality and raising kids in Hong Kong

  1. #1
    mos1021 is offline Registered User
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    Air quality and raising kids in Hong Kong

    My husband and I are relocating to HK and I would appreciate some advice on the best places to live with a young family. Our daughter is 2 1/2 years old, she has a slight wheezing condition so we are very concerned about pollution. Where's the best place to live, in regards to air quality, in Hong Kong? I've heard good things about Discovery Bay - is it hard to get to medical services from here? Thank you!!!

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    hong kong is a very compact city. there are no hospitals in discovery bay, but i believe they are building one in neighbouring tung chung. there are doctors' offices in db, though, so most problems can be dealt with there. otherwise, just get on the ferry (25 minute ride) and then get a taxi to the hospital from central (or call an ambulance to pick you up from the ferry to get you to the nearest hospital).

    i used to live in db, now live in sai kung (on opposite sides of hk) and to be honest, i don't notice much difference in air quality. i do notice a slightly better air quality when compared to say, mongkok on a saturday, but it's only slight.

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    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
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    http://www.epd-asg.gov.hk/

    There isnt a significant amount of difference between various districts.

  4. #4
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    what db and much of sai kung lacks is the traffic. you don't get exhaust blowing in your face when you walk down the street/road.

  5. #5
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    erina320 is offline Registered User
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    As Howard said there is little variation in air quality in the different districts, but you can check air quality at:

    http://hedleyindex.sph.hku.hk

    And

    www.hongkongcan.com

    As well.

    A good air purifier can improve indoor air quality, but you are otherwise out of luck when it comes to outdoor air quality.

    and yes, they are building a hospital in Tung Chung (maybe a 20 minute bus ride from DB), but it is as of yet unfinished.

  6. #6
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    More than district location, I think it's better to consider the actual location of where one lives--where is your house or flat located.

    If you live right next to a busy road you're going to get more diesel pollution and roadside traffic. If you live out where we live in a village people open burn their trash (it's a very common thing about villagers) so you're going to have that pollution to deal with. Also you're going to get wind from the coal-fired electric plant blowing down the valley which leaves a thin layer of blackish "soot" on everything if you leave your windows open.

    If you live near Shenzhen Bay (Tin Shui Wai) you're going to get pollution from the factories in Ping Hu in Shenzhen.

    If you live where my parents-in-law live right next to a quiet bay on Hong Kong Island East in a district with lighter traffic you're going to get a nice ocean breeze which tends to clean the air more.

    If you live in a flat on Hong Kong Island that faces toward the street and airflow is blocked by other highrises you're going to get more stuff, stale air and pollution. If you live higher up in a highrise you're going to get more fresh air than if you live closer to ground level.

    But, if you check the pollution readings at various points in HK they're all going to be about the same. But, that doesn't account for the slight differences that can be found within those districts--better to go take a look for yourself and notice what's surrounding the place you're looking at living.
    “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

  7. #7
    Newbie_hk is offline Registered User
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    I agree with the above posters. Much of a muchness with air pollution but what i call "everyday pollution" is a factor that you might want to consider.

    In our area of 15 towers, our flat faces the ocean & mountains with no public access for vehicles except residents. Some towers face a construction site where it is more dusty, noisier & has access to public road.

  8. #8
    nicolejoy's Avatar
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    One other thing to note - both my husband and daughter have asthma (fortunately, it's generally mild and easily treated though) and both of them are far worse in Australia than here in HK. It is true that HK has high pollution levels, but Australia has a LOT of pollen etc that reeks havoc on hayfever and asthma sufferers. In fact, the asthma levels in Australia are among the highest in the world, and significantly higher than Hong Kong. I think for them, respiratory-wise, they are healthier in Hong Kong than Australia. I don't know where you are from, it might be better or worse - but I think that a lot of times, HK gets a bad rap for the pollution but it is not AS bad as it sounds... (I do wish though that the pollution here was not so bad - but for other reasons than health. Mainly just so that it would be clearer - I miss blue skies!!)

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