Photo credit: SCMP
With news of Thailand’s toxic smog making headlines, the situation is a stern reminder of Hong Kong's similarly infamous reputation for air quality.
In 2017, 10,400 people in Hong Kong died from respiratory illnesses, and nearly 193,000 were taken to hospital (HK Government) - a clear sign that Hong Kong’s poor air quality is a pertinent issue.
It is well known that air pollution is detrimental to one’s respiratory health. However, did you know
that poor air quality also increases the likelihood of cardiovascular risks such as stroke and heart disease?
Despite this, “Almost 90 per cent of people will not stop their outdoor activities when they notice the air quality is not good,” said World Green Organisation founder Dr William Yu Yuen-ping, citing results from a survey of 500 people.
A worrying statistic given Hong Kong has a very strong sporting community; the city hosts a plethora of matches from rugby to baseball each week.
Nonetheless, as air pollution becomes ever more rampant, one may argue that the potential health risks outweigh the fun.
Such a dilemma is definitely something to think about for the future. For the time being, one should ensure to take precautions against the adverse effects of poor air quality.
A wise solution to this would be to purchase high-quality air masks, such as those supplied by local company Aethaer, as buying over-the-counter surgical masks only offer limited protection.
As air pollution becomes an ingrained issue in our everyday life, it may not seem like a bad idea for that late-night run, rugby training and day-to-day activities as well.