Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Solid air

Compare and contrast these two photographs from my office window, one taken last week and one taken yesterday. The poor quality camera phone photograph doesn't really illustrate the smog in all its horrific detail, but it had a nasty metallic look to it. The sun continued to shine but you could hardly tell.

The Environmental Protection Department's website said that pollution in Central yesterday was "High" at 63 (on Hong Kong's own mealy-mouthed Air Pollution Index which does not refer to international standards because that would show us as being completely off the scale) and consisted of "respirable suspended particulates". The pre-Olympic crackdown on heavy industrial factories around Beijing may well have resulted in a compensatory powering up of factories in Guangdong province, just over the border, but more likely it's just business as usual for Hong Kong: with a few weeks' respite and glorious blue skies, it became difficult to imagine the pollution (like pain, it's hard to remember the visceral detail of the experience when you're not suffering it).


Mancsoulsister said...

I can't believe that level of smog can be good for you.

Is there a higher than world average level of asthma or other respiratory ailments among the HK population?

LottieP said...

Good question, but if the HK Government told us that highly classified information they'd have to kill us... er... oh.