Thursday, December 9, 2010

Roadside Traffic Pollution

Air Pollution in Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong
Image via Wikipedia

Roadside Air Worst in 5 Years - Renew AQO Retire Euro II Buses (Friends of the Earth- Hong Kong, Nov. 26, 2010)

Also discussed here: Hong Kong roadside air pollution hits record high (Guardian, Sept. 8, 2010)

Although the review article today focuses on Hong Kong, there are parallels to the health threats from traffic emissions in cities elsewhere where there are diesel powered buses and trucks and traffic hot spots.  What is noteworthy is that these downtown roadside emissions are being monitored in Hong Kong, unlike many cities in the USA and Canada.  Also, roadside pollution form traffic is increasingly seen as a greater and growing problem compared to ambient wide-spread pollution levels which do tend to be monitored.

Key Quotes:

“Roadside air pollution in Hong Kong hit record highs in the first six months of the year, damaging public health and economic competitiveness.. The city's air quality hit "unhealthy" levels about 10% of the time between January and June, the highest level in five years”

“Health experts estimate poor air has cost the city HK$1.18bn (£99m) in healthcare bills and lost productivity, along with 3.8 million visits to the doctor, this year.”

“while roadside pollution had grown, overall atmospheric pollution levels actually fell in the first six months.. The recording of nitrogen oxides and respirable suspended particulates in three roadside stations from Tuesday to Friday climbed over tolerable readings for a third to half of the time.”

“urged the government to retire Euro II buses of the franchised companies by 2015, which could reduce the emissions of nitrogen oxides by 23% and 16% for respirable suspended particulates along busy roads”

“40% of air pollutants in busy roads come from franchised buses.”

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