Summary: Antonio Da Roza, Jessica Hefes

Originally reported: South China Morning Post

Date: 6/2/10

Originally: 10/10/09

Global recession leads to fall in sulphur dioxide at container port [1]

A study by HKUST lead by Dr Alexis Lau Kai-hon comparing winters and summers sulphur dioxide concentrations from 2007 – 2009 showed concentrations were higher in summer than winter, when northerly wind blows from the mainland, suggesting the pollution source is local. The highest concentrations were in and around the Kwai Chung container port area. Effects on health could be five times greater than sulphur dioxide emissions from power plants due to the proximity of the port to three million residents. Sulphur dioxide concentration fell by 25% with an 11% drop in cargo ships during the recession. Fuel oil used by ocean-going vessels contains 2,500 times more sulphur than diesel used by cars. Hong Kong could be designated a sulphur-emission control area, but this must be proposed by Beijing at the International Maritime Organisation.


  1. Pollution mostly local, study finds, SCMP, 10/10/09