Go to main content
Health risk category for Air Quality Health Index reaches "Serious" level
     The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) has recorded higher than normal air pollution levels since last weekend. At 2pm today (September 16), the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) at some monitoring stations reached 10+, corresponding to the "Serious" health risk category. The EPD expects that the AQHI at some monitoring stations may reach "Serious" tomorrow afternoon (September 17) and in the following few days.

     In autumn, the summer southerly airstream affecting the coast of Guangdong begins to ease off, while the northeast monsoon remains weak. This forms calm and stable ambient conditions that are unfavourable to air pollutant dispersion.

     The weather in Hong Kong today and tomorrow is fine and very hot, with light to moderate westerly winds forming calm and stable ambient conditions, causing regional pollution levels to rise. The intense sunshine enhances photochemical smog activity leading to rapid formation of ozone and fine particulates in the Pearl River Delta region. The high ozone level also promotes the formation of nitrogen dioxide.

     According to the Hong Kong Observatory, the weather will remain very hot with light winds over the coast of Guangdong in the next few days (September 17 to 19). The EPD expects that the regional pollution level affecting Hong Kong will remain higher than normal until the advent of stronger wind.

     With a health risk category in the "Very High" or "Serious" levels, children, the elderly and persons with existing heart or respiratory illnesses are advised to reduce physical exertion and outdoor activities to a minimum or avoid such activities. The general public is advised to reduce, or reduce to a minimum, outdoor physical exertion, and to reduce time staying outdoors, especially in areas with heavy traffic. As health effects of air pollutants may vary for individuals, persons who are in doubt or experience discomfort should seek advice from health-care professionals. The public may visit the Centre for Health Protection's website (www.chp.gov.hk/en/content/9/460/3557.html) for more information on health effects of air pollution and relevant health advice.

     The Education Bureau (EDB) urges all schools to visit the EDB's website for appropriate measures to safeguard students' health and take note of changes in the index. The relevant hyperlink is as follows: www.edb.gov.hk/en/sch-admin/admin/about-activities/sch-activities-guidelines/index.html.

     When the AQHI is at the "Very High" level, employers of outdoor workers performing heavy manual work are advised to assess the risk of outdoor work and take appropriate preventive measures to protect the health of their employees, such as reducing outdoor physical exertion and the time of their stay outdoors, especially in areas with heavy traffic. At the "Serious" level, employers of all outdoor workers are advised to assess the risk of outdoor work and take appropriate preventive measures to protect the health of their employees.

     Members of the public can check the current AQHI readings at the EPD's website (www.aqhi.gov.hk/en.html) or by calling the hotline 2827 8541.
Ends/Friday, September 16, 2022
Issued at HKT 16:40
Today's Press Releases