Author: Antonio Da Roza

Date: 5/8/10

Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated places in the world, with some seven million people in an area of only 1,100 km2. As with other places, this density of population contributes to a serious air pollution problem.

Air quality in Hong Kong compares unfavourably with other world cities with particulate levels approximately 40% higher than in Los Angeles, the most polluted city in the USA. [1]

The reduction of air pollution in Hong Kong to levels comparable to other world cities, such as London, Paris and New York, would help avoid over 1,600 deaths annually – an estimate based on the premature deaths attributable to health conditions associated with the effects of air pollution on human health.[2]

Hong Kong faces two major air pollution issues: local street-level pollution and a regional smog problem. The main source of street-level pollution come from diesel vehicles, whilst smog is primarily caused by a combination of pollutants from motor vehicles, industry and power plants in Hong Kong and in the Pearl River Delta region. [3] Hence, air pollution in Hong Kong is primarily emitted from transport, electricity generation, and industry and should be addressed at these levels.[4]

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The Hong Kong waterfront on clear and hazy days - Alex Hofford (

See Also

  1. The legal definition of air pollution


  1. Air Pollution: costs and paths to a solution, Department of Community Medicine, HKU, Department of Community and Family Medicine, CUHK, Institute for the Environment, HKUST, Civic Exchange, June 2006 – last accessed 5/8/10
  2. A Price Too High: The Health Impacts of Air Pollution in Southern China, Civic Exchange, HKU Medical Centre, Department of Community and Family Medicine, CUHK, Institute for the Environment, HKUST, June 2008 – last accessed 5/8/10
  3. An Overview on Air Quality and Air Pollution Control in Hong Kong, Environmental Protection Department – last accessed 5/8/10
  4. Where does Hong Kong’s air pollution come from?, Hedley Index FAQs – last accessed 5/8/10