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Government welcomes passage of Air Pollution Control (Amendment) (No. 2) Ordinance 2013

     The Secretary for the Environment, Mr Wong Kam-sing, said he was pleased to see the passage of the Air Pollution Control (Amendment) (No. 2) Ordinance 2013 (Amendment Ordinance) through the Legislative Council today (January 22). The Amendment Ordinance, which seeks to ban the import, transhipment, supply and use of all forms of asbestos so as to further protect public health, will come into operation on April 4, 2014.

     "To reduce the risk of public exposure to asbestos fibres, the Air Pollution Control Ordinance (APCO) has banned the import and sale of the more hazardous amosite and crocidolite starting from 1996. To prevent release of asbestos fibres into the environment, the APCO also requires asbestos abatement works and related activities to be conducted by registered asbestos professionals in accordance with the requirements of the APCO and the codes of practice on asbestos control," said Mr Wong.

     "The Amendment Ordinance will further reduce the risk of public exposure to environmental asbestos by imposing a total ban on asbestos. Except for goods in transit and registered proprietary Chinese medicine, the import, transhipment, supply and use of all forms of asbestos will be banned to prevent asbestos from entering Hong Kong. It also makes related amendments to the Factories and Industrial Undertakings (Asbestos) Regulation to ban works with all types of asbestos in industrial undertakings," he said.

     To increase public knowledge of materials that contain asbestos, the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) will work with the Pneumoconiosis Compensation Fund Board to publish a booklet about the most common sources of asbestos-containing materials. In addition, to enhance asbestos awareness of personnel engaged in construction activities, the EPD has uploaded a list of machinery/products which may contain asbestos to the department's webpage ( for their reference.

Ends/Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Issued at HKT 15:58


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