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Deterioration of Air Quality Affecting Children's Health

The deterioration of Hong Kong’s air quality has resulted in increasing number of children admitted to hospital with breathing problems.//

The deterioration of Hong Kong’s air quality has resulted in increasing number of children admitted to hospital with breathing problems.

Researchers at Hong Kong University have found that a rise in pollutants such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and ozone of about three percent produced a five percent rise in the number of children admitted to hospital with asthma.

The study report stated, "If ambient level of these pollutants were reduced by an average of around 50 percent, it could have cut down around 3,400 hospital admissions for asthma in children during the study period."

Besides this the report added, "There is a need for health policy makers to develop more stringent air quality objectives and take high risk groups into consideration such as those at the extreme of ages, with chronic respiratory or cardiovascular illnesses."

In Hong Kong the smog levels have risen in the past few years to often dangerous levels. The quality of the air is so poor that visibility was reduced to less than one kilometer for over 50 days last year.

The government alleges that the problem is mainly due to the industrialization of southern China's neighboring Pearl River Delta region. However green groups blame local coal-burning power stations and diesel-powered buses for the deteriorating air quality.

The growing concern over the severe increase has has listed the issue at the top of the political agenda, and the government has borne the brunt of criticisms for ignoring it.
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