From: Associated Press
Published November 2, 2004 12:00 AM

Greenpeace Accuses Hong Kong of Downplaying Air Pollution

HONG KONG — Greenpeace on Monday accused the Hong Kong government of downplaying air pollution in the territory by setting the acceptable level of certain pollutants too high.

Hong Kong allows more than three times the concentration of harmful airborne particles as the European Union does before issuing a serious health warning, the environmental activist group said in a statement.

Greenpeace alleged that Hong Kong uses "outdated" air quality assessment standards that "in effect, hide the reality."

Hong Kong's government said in a statement that "there is still no international consensus" on air quality standards, noting that even the World Health Organization said countries and territories should factor in local conditions in setting them.

Hong Kong's air quality standards are similar to those used in the United States, the government statement noted.


It said officials will consider updating Hong Kong's standards with regard to "the perspective of science and the local feasibility of new standards."

Hong Kong is frequently obscured by pollution, and an environmental official recently said that about 80 percent of it blows in from China.

Officials in Hong Kong and China's neighboring Guangdong province say they are working on a cleanup plan.

Source: Associated Press

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