View Full Version : A pool of our own filth!
15th Sep 2007, 09:13
FRUSTRATION!!! When is the Hong Kong government going to get off its collective fat arse and start doing something constructive about the levels of air pollution in HK! I’ve only been in HK less than 7 years and in that short time it’s become very noticeably worse! How bad is it going to have to get before they’ll pull finger!
Already it’s at the stage where I , as a relatively healthy person ( apart from the drinking problem :} ) don’t want to go outside on the average day. And , after spending an afternoon in town , come home with stinging red eyes, a sore throat and coughing up all sorts of filth! Call me a big girls blouse, but it’s true! :yuk:
I know a large percentage of the cr#p in the air comes from our dollar driven brothers across the border, and that, as a relatively small fish, the HK government ( and I use that term loosely! ) carries very little weight in Beijing, but the least they can do is make an effort to clean up their own back yard! For Chr!st’s sake grow some balls, and stand up to the large corporate polluters, the CLP’s who now burn coal at their hugely profitable power stations. Why? Because the price of natural gas went up, so now coal is more profitable! And the diesel fume belching buses that fill central with that lovely brown haze!
And all our appointed leaders do is procrastinate. They change the scale and warning levels on the pollution index so that it looks better on paper. (Shame they don’t look out the window!) And they think about the forming of a working group to consider the posibility of thinking about doing a 10 year study into problem! :ugh:
Don't get me wrong, on a nice day ( all 7 or 8 of them a YEAR ! I sh!t you not! ) Hong Kong is a beautiful place, the view out my window looks like this
But today with the metar saying
VHHH 150700Z 27007KT 2900 R07R/P2000 R25L/P2000 R07L/1400N R25R/1400N HZ FEW020 SCT100 33/23 Q1003 NOSIG
It looks like this!
:yuk: :yuk: :yuk:
And no, it's not raining, or misty, or foggy , it's Respirable Suspended Particulatey, according to the hk observatory
I've very nearly had enough of it, And I don't have any kids little lungs to worry about! New commers to HK, I hope you're prepared to give up your freash air and blue skies ( below FL 150 anyway )
Is it worth it???? Buggs out
15th Sep 2007, 09:18
Back in 99 I met a chap that did airtesting for the EPD. At that time, the worst air pollution in hkg was in happy valley. This was due to natural topology that enabled polluted air to be trapped depending on wind direction. He said that DB had some of the cleanest air and that was because most of HK air pollution was caused by vehicles. I think back then the highest pollution index was 90 something(unlike NC to forget a number;-)
Anyway, the newest record is held by Tung Chung - just under 200. Must be all those factories and buses that exist in Tung Chung huh!
So you can thank our friends across the border for the air!
15th Sep 2007, 22:47
The latest aviation weather report at the Hong Kong International Airport issued by the Hong Kong Observatory at 06:31 HKT on 16 Sep 07
METAR VHHH 2230 06003KT 2800 HZ FEW022 SCT120 29/23 Q1005 NOSIG=
Oh, I forgot. Its due to the lack of wind. Silly me.
Edit: Just for info, with that sort of viz we can't see you at the 07R holding point from the Tower. Dunno why they bothered with windows.
16th Sep 2007, 01:38
Was just about to blast back and suggest it was humidity, since Lantau is covered with dragonflies this morning.
BUT, just checked on the HKO website and the Rhum is down at 65%.
Holy cr@<hidden> buggalugs you're right, it is sh!t from up the delta!
Booking a one-way ticket to somewhere cleaner as we speak/type.... currently the only choice.
If you want to stay and fight the polluters, they have the advantage, since the air you have to breathe explaining to them what a bunch of filthy b@<hidden> they are, is so polluted you will probably expire before they listen!:ugh:
16th Sep 2007, 02:34
I will agree that HK does produce a percentage of it's own pollution, but the last few weeks should be an indication of how little pollution actually comes from HK when the wind is blowing the majority of the cr--p back where it originates Southern China.
But one must ask who owns the factories in China . A lot of them are owned by HK people and the government is like Nero they continue to fiddle while we die . They are not prepared to take on the HK industrialists who own and operate polluting factories in China so the status quo will remain and every citizen must breath in the toxic air that has become our environment.
I love HK and would like to live here for many more years but I do not think that my lungs can take it much longer .
Many expat companies with staff in HK pay up to US$ 100,000 extra to senior staff who remain here in order to keep them.
My time with CX is now being dictated by the air pollution that we have to suffer every winter, and seems to be getting worse every year as well as starting earlier in the season .
16th Sep 2007, 04:01
Sunday mid morning and the Viz is crap 2700m HZ according to the observatory for HKIA.
But I would like to draw your attention to www.cleartheair.org.hk (http://www.cleartheair.org.hk) and my friends you will see that today Tung Chung (inter-alia HKIA) has the lowest measured RSP's for all HKG ie. the airport environment is the place to be today!
Take that sports fans.
16th Sep 2007, 05:29
F doggie , Cheers, queastionare completed! For all the good it’ll do! :mad:
Lapsap , haha , yeah I can hear it already, “ it’s the lack of wind that’s the root cause of the problems! The copious amounts of cr@<hidden> we’re pumping into the sky has nothing to do with it! “ p.s. at least the low vis means you might not have seen my crap landing the other day ! :O
Oriental flyer , mate , I think you’re onto something there! Perhaps we should be telling NR we want 100K USD “pollution danger allowance” instead of his generous payrise offer! Yeah that’ll work! :suspect:
Alpa floor , Agreed , Lets all head out to CLK for a round of golf in the “freashest air in HK” . Then off to slashers for a beer or six, purely to help our kidneys purge the heavy metals of course :}
Seriously guys, I reckon things will only improve when the pollution levels for the Oylimpics in Beijing cause the big red government up north a huge loss of face. To spite their draconian methods to try and improve the situation, banning a third of the citys cars from being used, shutting down factories for the period of the games :ugh: . Already teams are expressing concern about sending their top athletes to train on site prior to the games. Can you blame them? Imagine try'n to run a marathon in this shite! :yuk:
It looks like the only short term solution is to get the hell outa here ! :ok:
16th Sep 2007, 06:30
The latest aviation weather report at the Hong Kong International Airport issued by the Hong Kong Observatory at 14:03 HKT on 16 Sep 07
METAR VHHH 0600 30005KT 2100 -SHRA HZ FEW018 BKN100 30/24 Q1005 NOSIG=
Anyone got a knife and fork?
No worries mate, we only charge for the first one.:ok:
16th Sep 2007, 06:45
All kidding aside, if you are considering joining CX, and you have small children.....DON'T. It is hard to over emphasise the sheer danger to the health of the elderly and the young due to the air pollution in HK. No job is worth seeing your child develop asthma, or worse.... Unless you have been here on the usual day of low vis, you cannot begin to appreciate how bad the air is. After being back in HK for no more than 1 hour, my eyes become red and itchy, and my chest gets tight. Children deserve better than this sh*te hole...
16th Sep 2007, 09:58
I agree its bad, but to tell people not join us in HKG sounds like you have another agenda apart from "air". If things are that bad why you still here?
16th Sep 2007, 10:11
one could ask you the same thing eh...
A CONSTANT ERROSION OF MY BENEFITS> thanks for nothing N.R - I guess it doesnt affect you in FIRST class up on the Peak?
Counting my days -----
When is it you plan to leave? Or are you going to sit it out and whinge til' your lungs are full of crap, til' you retire, til' you can fly in business with kids under 12? Surely since HKG is such a great place you will encourage your children/friends children/relatives children to come to HKG after they have been to Uni overseas..... or will you get an overseas basing at that point?
etc, etc, etc.....:zzz:
16th Sep 2007, 14:54
From "The China Post" recently:
Monday, September 3, 2007
HONG KONG, Reuters
Hong Kong's air pollution is making it more difficult for companies to attract foreign staff to the territory, a survey released on Sunday by the city's American Chamber of Commerce shows.
In the survey, which covered responses from 89 chamber members, 51 percent of respondents said they had experienced difficulty recruiting professionals to come and work in Hong Kong and 70 percent said they knew of professionals who had declined to work in the territory because of the poor quality of the environment.
Given the deteriorating air quality, 57 percent of survey respondents indicated their companies were likely in future to invest more money elsewhere instead of Hong Kong. The survey was conducted by the Nielsen Company on behalf of AmCham.
Hong Kong is frequently cloaked in haze due to pollution spreading from factories in China's southern Guangdong province and from local power stations and vehicles.
Green group Friends of the Earth says the territory's bad-air days have doubled over the past decade. The Hong Kong government, which has imposed emission caps on power companies and set goals to reduce emissions from vehicles, has said that air quality is at the top of its agenda but AmCham urged it to do more.
16th Sep 2007, 15:17
Yes today was another of those IMC conditions on what should be a clear day. Pure industrial haze, you can taste it and your can smell it in the air.
'Tis true that the kids get it the worst. I do not have that concern as I don't have kids on HKG, but before you bring your kids to Hong Kong you should ask parents here if it affects their children's health. Early Asthma is apparently common, and constant light rhinitis is reported, but I am only hearsay here. For me as an adult, when the pollution gets bad, I get coughs, burning throat after jogging, and the occasional conjunctivitus.
As a thread drift, as you have read elsewhere, depending on the age of your children, check what schools are available before you sign for CX. At certain ages it can be very difficult to get them into the kind of school you would want them to attend without a debenture payment which CX do not cover. Figures of well over USD100,000 may be required for the best schools to buy your way in.
As with all big changes in life, ask around. Here is a start, but do not rely on pprune only for your information.
16th Sep 2007, 20:56
In the last few years I have developed Asthma. Before I joined CX I use to swim 2 km a day. Now my lung capacity is 80% what it use to be and I don’t smoke. On my days off I get the hell out of Hong Kong. Summer is usually OK but winter and particularly the last week have been bad, real bad. Even the idea of a run on a treadmill at my gym makes me wheeze.:yuk:
16th Sep 2007, 22:03
No other agenda here Alpha Floor. There is no job worth risking your families health for. If you read my previous post carefully, you will see that I did not criticise CX as an employer. I was simply stating that the pollution in HK is such that you will put your family's health at risk. I am no longer based in HK....now DownUnder :ok:. Cathay, and every other employer of expats in HK are going to increasingly suffer from the effects of this on peoples decisions to migrate to HK. Having had my son develop a serious skin condition, directly attributable to 'heavy metals' in the atmosphere, I know first hand just how devastating this problem can be. At the time, the job really didn't seem to be worth very much... It would be remiss of me to not warn others of the seriousness of this situation. I would gladly tell NR this in person if I thought it would do any good... :ooh:. People need to know the ramifications of this terrible situation. I would not put my family through such an experience again...
17th Sep 2007, 01:53
This is terrible. Three days stuck on standby. Can't leave the apartment because the pollution is so bad. I did leave it once and actually felt physically sick.
"Pollution bad but stockmarket up......ha ha ha" :mad:
17th Sep 2007, 12:24
I am shocked to read this thread. I visited HK in 1996 and in 2003 gained my CPL and now I am one last step away, probably 6-8 months from being in a position to have an interview with Cathay. Sounds like HK is not as I remember it, which is quite the shock.
My goal of working for Cathay has somewhat shifted now and I am keeping an open mind due to all the concerns of the environment posted here.
Thankyou for the post guys, I still would like to work for Cathay, but for my healths sake, the extra dollars that can be earnt in HK compared to Aus sounds like it is not worth it, or is it?:bored:
18th Sep 2007, 16:24
however, according to a survey, hk people avg age is about 80 years old...which is the 2nd highest in the world
so....actually, the air pollution wont affect your health much
but defintely, you got a bad temper when you saw the smog covering the sky....
and HK is small, many HKers like shopping rather than hiking.....so they dont care pollution problems.. only a group of environmentalists concern, but their voice is too small that no one can hear
18th Sep 2007, 18:17
If I took up smoking now, then it will be some time before I have serious adverse effects. Likewise, the onset of this air pollution at current levels has only been with us for a few years. Lets see what happens to the longevity of HK locals once they breathe this air for 20-30 years.
Smoking didn't kill straight away - it took time and regularity. Thats what we have going on here;-/
19th Sep 2007, 01:01
In the last few years I have developed Asthma
You've obviously been keeping that one to yourself 404, knowing what the CAD are like on that subject ? Am curious for my own reasons. Have heard some horror stories regarding guys ticking a certain box on the medical form, trying to do the right thing and be honest, as we would back home.
Back on topic, IMHO, the doomsayers that reckon we are inhaling the equivalent of 7 cancer sticks a day obviously have'nt done much research on the chemicals in ciggies. I find it a little hard to believe that Benzyne, formaldehyde, ammonia, acetone, arsenic, cyanide etc etc are all floating aroud the fragrant harbour. Having been a smoker in the past and straying off the track occasionally in recent years, I know that I feel far worse after a few ciggies than I ever do normally in HK.
And NO, its not due to hangover, hangovers are 100 times worse after even 3-4 cigs.
Not saying the pollution is harmless, far from it, but maybe not quites as harmful as we would be led to believe.
As i said MHO.
19th Sep 2007, 01:17
Its been 20+ years since I did chemistry, but.... there is much that is bad in cigarette smoking other than the chemicals you list. There are equivalently damaging aspects from suspended micro particulates.
An example....if person A ate pizza every day and had a heart attack at 45, does that make person B safe as he only eats McDonalds?
If you want to understand the very long term effects of breathing polluted air (and drinking polluted water) do a google search on this topic, specifically on china. There have been many articles observing effects such as low IQ, higher birth defects, higher rates of cancer etc. Being in china there seems to be no rush to order full scale studies....might make this 10 year+ boom look bad if the result is that they are killing everyone early!
19th Sep 2007, 02:44
however, according to a survey, hk people avg age is about 80 years old...which is the 2nd highest in the world
so....actually, the air pollution wont affect your health much.
That is precisely the argument that Donald Tsang would like to have us believe (and which unfortunately many locals do). That is why many professors at HK universities have gone in the press to vehemently destroy that argument...
Although you are correct that HK people are now dying at a venerable old age (older only than folks in Okinawa, apparently), they didn't have to live most of their lives in the filthy air that we and our kids do. The pollution levels have only been dangerous for the past decade or so. So Sunny, don't think that because your grandparents are living to a ripe old age that you kids will too.
The pollution is a Hong Kong problem. It is caused by poor pollution controls on existing vehicles, wasteful idling, an addiction to ridiculously cold settings on aircons, and primarily, pollution from HK-owned factories and coal-fired electrical plants just to the north. It constantly amazes me that no one in a position to make a difference really cares.
19th Sep 2007, 03:43
"There have been many articles observing effects such as low IQ,..."
Well done NC. As well as all your other answers on many topics, you have disclosed the reason behind the high standard of literacy, knowledge, brain power etc., exhibited by many of the idiots who contribute to Fragrant Harbour.
19th Sep 2007, 04:48
If I had Asthma when I came to HK, CX would have had a problem with it because of loss of licence insurance. I didn’t have Asthma then though so it wasn’t a problem. I only started to get symptoms in the last two years and was only diagnosed recently. The CAD doesn’t have a problem with it, though I do have to do extra tests each medical.
19th Sep 2007, 05:44
I agree guys, the scariest thing in my opinion is that the true consequences of being constantly exposed to this level of air/water pollution won’t become clear for perhaps a decade or more, by then it’ll be too late! :=
Incredibly frustrating, as has been pointed out by many prooners is the attitude of the locals, so focused on their financial future that pollution and the environment in general aren’t even on their first page of considerations! As other have said,as long as the housing/stock markets are doing well everything is “ok la “ :ugh:
What the :mad: is the point in retiring with a boatload of cash if your health is too poor to enjoy it! And not only your own health, but that of your offspring too! The sad thing is, IMHO, that there will be no short/medium term improvement, at least until it starts to seriously effect the economy. As things stand the “government” is too piss weak to stand up to the large polluters for fear of damaging economic growth. Even when hard decisions are finally made to improve the situation it'll take years to actually achieve it.
In the mean time we're slowly being poisoned :(
Get those basing requests/CV's in boys!
19th Sep 2007, 05:50
What water pollution are we refering to?
The HKG drinking water is not in doubt is it? Despite the fact that high end restaurants will not serve tap water, which is purely based on profit margins on bottled water!
19th Sep 2007, 06:19
Most if not all of HK's drinking water is piped in from the mainland, I'll let you read into that what you will, especially if you've ever seen/smelt the shenzhen river! Although having said that I'm sure HK keeps a close eye on water quality, it might just be me getting all pessimistic with regard to any food/drink coming from the mainland. :suspect:
19th Sep 2007, 09:47
Don't worry, CX is trying to help you with your dilemma....by making sure you don't retire with boatloads of cash;-)
19th Sep 2007, 11:41
.......as an added bonus Hong Kong is one of the few airports in the world where you can smell the Transition Level.:}
19th Sep 2007, 12:05
AAAHhh Binny you should be a trainer - now I will never miss that transition call again!!
Except for in the sim....
20th Sep 2007, 07:52
Hahaha , classic Binny :ok:
20th Sep 2007, 11:22
If you are ever unfortunate enough to fly Air China, have a look in the inflight magazine.
One of the regular advertisers is http://www.nextsafety.com/airpollution.php
The makers of this thing....
Maybe we should all start wearing these while in uniform as a silent protest? Shouldnt the companies have a duty of care to provide them to us when they send us to the most polluted cities on earth? Forgot that would take an admission that there was a problem, which is why I was amazed to see it in the "Flag Carriers" magazine.
20th Sep 2007, 11:48
or we could just leave to pastures new.
People say the grass isn't always greener but the bloody air is........:O
21st Sep 2007, 12:16
i am going home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
28th Sep 2007, 21:08
...big worry for the China Olympics. Seems that the IOC has declared that the running events may not take place in Biejing. Me thinks the reputation of the PRC is heading for a very big knock.
29th Sep 2007, 12:42
Olympic chief Jacques Rogge says air pollution could lead to some events at the 2008 Beijing Games being postponed. Speaking a year to the day before the start of the 2008 Games, the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said: "It is an option.
"Sports with short durations would not be a problem, but endurance sports like cycling are examples of competitions that might be postponed or delayed."
Billions have been spent in an attempt to reduce pollution without success.
29th Sep 2007, 18:06
Apparently..Bob Hope arrived at the old HKK airport and said..What is that smell?
He was told..That is Chinese s..t Bob.
Yes I know that he replied but what on earth have they done to it!
Apple Tree Yard
3rd Oct 2007, 19:39
Scan: never underestimate the ingenuity of the HK scientists. Apparantly they have 'atomised' the sh*t and turned it into an aerosol...:uhoh: