Today’s WHO newest report reveals that 92% of the world’s populations live in places where air quality levels exceed WHO limits. Every year three millions of deaths are related to exposure to outdoor air pollution and another 3.5 million deaths related to indoor air pollution, which means 1 in 9 of the total global deaths are related to exposure to indoor or outdoor air pollution.
In Hong Kong, our roadside air pollution has never reached the WHO limits in terms of nitrogen oxides and particulate matters. This poses a serious health threat to workers and commuters who are frequently exposed to roadside air pollution. In 2015 alone, the number of premature death due to air pollution in Hong Kong was 2196 and the total economic loss was 27.4 billion HK dollars.
The HKSAR government should acknowledge the WHO new report and act accordingly in the Air Quality Objectives(AQO) review in progress for 2020 and 2025. CAN urges the government to take a bold step towards tightening the current Air Quality Objectives to meet WHO Air Quality Guidelines(WHOAQGs) limits, especially for PM10 and PM2.5. The concentration levels of these two pollutants have shown a significant reduction in the past 10 years in Pearl River Delta Region.
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