Children are breathing in pollutants night and day that endanger their health, threaten their lives, and undermine their futures.

  • Air pollution is linked directly with diseases that kill.

The impact is commensurately shocking. Every year, nearly 600,000 children under the age of five die from diseases caused or exacerbated by the effects of indoor and outdoor air pollution.

  • Air pollution can considerably affect children’s health and can exacerbate underlying health issues.

Millions more suffer from respiratory diseases that diminish their resilience and affect their physical and cognitive development

  • Air pollution can have harmful social and economic effect

When children get sick, they might miss school, further limiting their learning and    development potential.

Newborn[0-2 months] Respiratory symptoms, illness and even death. Other negative effects:

Brain development & cognitive problems

 

infant/toddler[2-24 months]
Young child[2-6 years] Chronic cough and bronchitis

Reduced lung function

Wheezing and asthma attacks

School age child[6-12 years] Respiratory related low school performance and attendance
Adolescent[12-18 years]

 

  1. How air pollution affects children in Hong Kong?
  • Over the past decades, air quality in Hong Kong has never met WHO’s standard. Using internationally accepted 2006 WHO guidelines, air pollutants in Hong Kong are continuously above safer levels for PM10 , PM5 and NO2 in certain locations. According to the 2016 air quality monitoring data collected from 16 air quality monitoring stations, there were 11 monitoring stations that failed to meet the annual AQO of NO2.[1]
  • According to Education Bureau, there are over 800,000 students in 2016, including over 180,000 kindergarten students,over 300,000 primary students and over 300,000 secondary students.
  • By districts, the number of students in Eastern, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon City, Kwun Tong, Sha Tin, Yuen Long, Tuen Mun, Kwai Tsing all exceeds 50,000.
  • Currently, it is clear that poor air quality in Hong Kong will have a significant impact on quality of life, life expectancy and community costs of health care for our children. In particular, effective actions need to be taken in districts like Shum Shui Po, Tsuen Wan and Tuen Mun that both has a relatively higher levels of air pollutants and a large number of students.

[1] According to WHO’s annual AQG (2006), annual NO2 should below 40 μg/m3, PM10 should below 20 μg/m3 and PM2.5 should below 10 μg/m3.

Story posted on
29th Mar, 2018

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