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Higher than normal pollution levels until Sunday

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The public was advised by Environmental Protection Department to reduce outdoor activities due to above normal pollution levels yesterday.

As of 4pm on March 31, the Air Quality Health Index at some general air monitoring stations as well as the Causeway Bay roadside air monitoring station reached 8 or above, indicating a very high health risk, reports Hong Kong’s Information Services Department. The Air Quality Health Index ranks health risk from a low of 1-3 to serious levels of 10 and up.

The Tung Chung general air monitoring station obtained serious readings from 4-7pm yesterday, peaking at a 10+ index around 5pm. Most of Hong Kong is currently experiencing moderate to very high pollution readings.

The city has been affected by an airstream with higher concentrations of background pollutants. Sunshine increases photochemical smog activities and ozone formation during the day. The high level of ozone, along with light wind conditions has intensified the formation and accumulation of nitrogen dioxide. Urban areas are especially prone.

Sunny periods will persist until Sunday, April 3, according to the Hong Kong Observatory. Above normal pollution levels may linger until then.

Those with heart or respiratory illnesses, as well as children and the elderly are cautioned to limit physical and outdoor activities for the time being.

You can monitor Hong Kong’s Air Quality Health Index at www.aqhi.gov.hk.

Photo: Tokyoahead at English Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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