Background of Air Tour
One of our CASHK’s focal points is the need for more monitoring stations in the community, allowing citizens to access more accurate air quality information so that they can prevent doing exercises when air quality is bad. As a result, CASHK team, in partnership with KaiFong Tour, organized “Tuen Mun Air Tour” “Sham Shui Po Air Tour” on August 20th and August 27th respectively. 20 participants were led to familiar places within the area to understand community life aspects (e.g. daily activities, entertainment, work…). On the other hand, by utilizing air monitoring sensors, they also observed variations in air pollution levels, thereby comprehending the relationship between community activities and air quality.
Currently, Tuen Mun and Sham Shui Po covers an area of 87.54 and 9.48 square kilometers respectively. However, there is only one air monitoring station situated in each district (TM: on the rooftop of TM Public Library; SSP: SSP Police Station). Given the potential for significant disparities in air quality across different corners of the community, the limited number of monitoring stations makes it difficult to accurately reflect pollution hotspots and their causes nearby. This situation exposes citizens, especially schoolchildren who walk to school or engage in outdoor activities, to high levels of air pollution. If their routes take them close to busy roads and other pollution hotspots, their exposure to air pollutants like particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide increases. Research has indicated that if children are regularly exposed to severe pollution levels during their early years, they may face lifelong health consequences.
In both TM and SSP air tours, participants can comprehend the diverse air quality at different locations within the areas, personally experiencing the variations. This enables them to realize the impact of local air pollution on the health of residents and children. Subsequently, they can become advocates for clean air, driving community efforts to establish more green spaces, promote zero-emission transportation, and adopt more stricter emission standards.
Result analysis of short term air quality monitoring data in TM and SSP districts
For TM part, as nitrogen dioxide (NO2) primarily originates from vehicle emissions, its concentration is relatively high at the Tuen Mun Station Bus Terminal and Tuen Mun Town Centre Bus Terminal. Due to their semi-enclosed nature and insufficient ventilation, the covered bus terminals tend to accumulate nitrogen dioxide emitted by buses, leading to a deterioration in air quality. As for suspended particulate matter concentrations (PM2.5 & PM10), the concentration is relatively higher near the Hou Kok Temple. The burning of incense and joss sticks during temple activities generates a significant amount of smoke, which contributes to airborne suspended particulates and thus worsens air pollution.
For SSP part, NO2 concentration are relatively high near Yen Chow Street Hawker Bazaar and Tong Chau Street Park, which are located beneath the busy-traffic West Kowloon Corridor Bridge and near Tong Chau Street. As for PM concentration, the concentration is relatively higher in Yen Chow Street Hawker Bazaar. This may due to the lack of ventilation system in the market.
Thank you for joining our air tours!