Pollution in Hong Kong Introduction Pollution problems in Hong Kong are similar to those encountered in most comparable urban areas elsewhere in the world. Aspects that have given rise to public concern include: emissions from motor vehicles and industries; various water pollution black spots; and the continuing need to dispose, in an environmentally satisfactory manner, of the large amount of sewage and solid wastes generated by the community that cannot be reused or recycled. Air Pollution Air Pollution Definition of Air Pollution Air pollution occurs when the concentrations of certain substances become high enough to toxify the atmospheric environment. Types of Air Pollution Primary Pollutants : Consists of materials dust, gases, liquids and other solids) that enter the atmosphere through natural and human-made events. The main primary pollutants influencing our atmosphere in order of emission are carbon monoxide, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, and particulate matter. Types of Air Pollution Secondary Pollutants : Consists of primary pollutants that have reacted with each other or with the basic components of the atmosphere to form new toxic substances Effects of Air Pollution . forest fires volcanic action lightning decreased visibility due to yellowish color of NO2 NO2 contributes to heart and lung problems NO2 can suppress plant growth decreased resistance to infection may encourage the spread of cancer Effects of Air Pollution all combustion processes account for only 5% of NO2 in the atmosphere, most is formed from reactions involving NO concentrations likely to rise in the future Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) evaporation of solvents evaporation of fuels incomplete combustion of fossil fuels Effects of Air Pollution naturally occurring compounds like terpenes from trees eye irritation respiratory irritation some are carcinogenic decreased visibility due to blue-brown haze the effects of VOCs are dependent on the type of chemical Effects of Air Pollution samples show over 600 different VOCs in atmosphere concentrations likely to continue to rise in future Ozone (O3) formed from photolysis of NO2 sometimes results from stratospheric ozone intrusions bronchial constriction coughing, wheezing Effects of Air Pollution respiratory irritation eye irritation decreased crop yields retards plant growth damages plastics breaks down rubber harsh odor concentrations of 0.1 parts per million can reduce photosynthesis by 50 % people with asthma and respiratory problems are influenced the most can only be formed during daylight hours Effects of Air Pollution Peroxyacetyl Nitrates (PAN) formed by the reaction of NO2 with VOCs (can be formed naturally in some environments) eye irritation high toxicity to plants respiratory irritation damaging to proteins was not detected until recognized in smog higher toxicity to plants than ozone Noise Pollution Definition of Noise Pollution Noise pollution means unwanted and damaging sound that pollute the environment. Noise Pollution Noise pollution is caused by: Aircraft taking off and landing at the airport. Traffic. Machinery on construction sites, particularly drills and pile-drivers. Factory machinery. Air-conditioning. Discotheque music, radio, cassette-recorder, television sets, etc. Effects of Noise Pollution How dangerous is noise pollution? Noise pollution can make people nervous. It can prevent people from concentrating on their work. It can prevent people from sleeping. It can change a man's physiological state by speeding up pulse and respiratory rates, and it can damage hearing permanently or temporarily. Millions of industrial workers are threatened with hearing damage. There is medical evidence that noises can cause heart attacks in individuals with existing cardiac injury and that continued exposure to loud noises could cause such chronic effects as hypertension or ulcers. Land Pollution Land Pollution Land is very important. The land gives us food, paper, lumber, glass, metals, and many other things. Look around you. Everything you see started in the soil or rocks. Land is very precious, it is something that should be cherished and protected. But we don't always do this. We waste everything the land provided for us so that the land must produce even more. Land Pollution Our waste ends up in garbage dumps that takes up and destroys more and more land every day. Waste is a form of pollution. It is litter when we toss it on the streets and in our parks carelessly; it adds to the garbage dumps when we throw it away in the garbage; it pollutes our water when we dump it down the drain; it clogs up our atmosphere when we burn it. Land Pollution Hills and mountains in Hong Kong are now threatened by uncontrolled exploitation by human beings. They are being used to reclaim the sea, build buildings and other uses. When a hill or mountain is cleared, many plants and animals lose their homes. They must leave or die. Instead, the hills become a flat land and are filled with a lot of buildings and streets. The men in the buildings produce more wastes, and thus pollute more the land we live. Effects of Land Pollution Everything we throw away has to go somewhere. Some of solid wastes are burned, but burning of wastes will pollute the air. So most of them ends up the landfills. But the landfills in Hong Kong which are nearly full. At the same time, we have been producing more and more wastes, including chemicals and nuclear material, that will be around for a very long time and be incredibly dangerous. Soon, there will be no more room to put all of our garbage. Effects of Land Pollution According to the information provided by Agenda 21, the amount of solid waste produced will increase four to five times by 2025. If we do nothing to change this, Hong Kong will be engulfed in a mountain of waste and pollutants! Can you think about when you are living around mountains of rubbish! Solutions to Land Pollution Actually there is a clear solution to the waste problem: waste should not be produced in the first place. We've got used to waste as simply a fact of life Solutions to Land Pollution but in fact waste is always a big mistake. Industry can and should introduce ways of making thing without producing waste. What can you do? Here are some ideas that you can do to help our environment: Don't drop litter. Ask people to keep your neighborhood a " litter- free zone." Organize your friends to do a litter pick up in your neighborhood. Solutions to Land Pollution Don't allow your pets to foul up the lawns or local parks. If it does, be sure to clean it up. Ask your parents to make sure the cleaners they use are biodegradable. (substances that will break down quickly and cause no pollution) Look out for things at home that can be recycled. (aluminium foil, tin cans, glass bottles, plastic bags, newspapers and bottles) Ask your friends to concern about the environment. Plant in you home. Water Pollution Water Pollution Water pollution is increasingly becoming a large problem that we as humans need to confront. Water is our most valuable resource. Just think of how much we humans are dependent upon clean water . Besides the fact that we drink the water, we use it for irrigation of farm fields, cooking, washing clothes, flushing toilets, etc. and every industrial process requires water to function. Everyone knows Water Pollution that the Earth's surface is covered by 70% water, so why fuss over protecting water? Only 3% of all water is fresh and drinkable and of that 3%, 75% is frozen in polar ice caps, which leaves a grand total of only 1% of the Earth's surface water that is readily available for consumption After taking that fact into account, one can see why the conservation and protection of our remaining water supply is so vital. Before water pollution can be stopped, the sources of the pollution must be known. Water Pollution The major sources of water pollution are organic pollution, agricultural pollution, runoff, toxic waste, and thermal pollution. Organic pollution is becoming more and more pressing on the environment, because of the growing population of the world. It's a simple concept, the more people there are in one area, the more waste they will produce. For example, in a Water Pollution city there are so many people that the sewage plants and the environment can't take care of all of the waste and function in its usual manner The sewage plants do their best, but the secondary discharge that gets into the water supply causes great problems. The excess waste acts as a food source for algae and the growth rate is uncontrollable. The algae will deposit on the shore and the water is clouded with algae. This situation is known as Water Pollution eutrophication, When excess waste is added to the water the body of water can no longer control the growth of the algae and the water soon becomes algae ridden and oxygen depleted. The water becomes oxygen depleted, because the dead algae goes to the bottom and uses the oxygen in the deeper water to decompose, but if there is too much dead algae all the oxygen is depleted. Solutions to Water Pollution In some cases people don't know that they are even polluting. Through education valuable information can be distributed. Education in schools has already begun for the next generation. Schools go on field trips to sewage plants to see how they work There is no reason to stop at the school level. Adults can also be educated at local meetings, newspapers, television, etc. The faster the people become educated the faster the reduction of water pollution can occur. Solutions to Water Pollution Many people ask that can I do to help ? The answer is simple, become educated about water pollution and use common sense. Think before you dump any chemicals into a drain or on the ground and ask yourself, There will these chemicals end up at ? Conserve water by reducing those long wasteful showers, turning off the water when it isn't in use, don't over water your lawn, etc. Remember that water is like gold, so treat it like gold and don't Solutions to Water Pollution waste an ounce. Every action has a consequence, so before you dispose of anything think of whether the consequence is going to be destructive or beneficial to you and the environment. Water is a necessity of life and it needs to be conserved and protected. If we value life as we know it, we need to change our way of life and look at water in a different way. Educate yourself and a friend and help stop the contamination of our most priceless commode, WATER. Suggestions to the Government and the Industrialists Here are also some advice to the government and industrialists: Soap Processing that uses coconut oil At present, soap and detergent industries in the country used hard alkyl benzene (HAB) as the major raw material for production. Studies showed that HAB should be banned because it is a pollutant. It aggravates the a pollution of our soil, ground water supply and our marine resources. This stand was based on a three to nine years study of the principal rivers Metro Manila. . Suggestions to the Government and the Industrialists The EEC banned the use of HAB in detergents because it failed to meet the minimum level of biodegradability of 80%. Fifty nine countries of the world, including USA and Japan, have banned the use of HAB for commercial detergents. It is unthinkable that Hong Kong should continue to use HAB to produce detergents especially when there is a better substitute available. In place of hard alkyl benzene, consumer groups and ecologists advocate the use of coconut oil. Coco chemicals are superior and safe base material in making soap by cold process. Suggestions to the Government and the Industrialists Biogas is produced out of fruit peels, food left-over, or animal manure in a digester with an integrated or separated gas holder. Animal manure like carabao or cow dung or fruit peels are initially mixed in a slurry for charging into the digester. To hasten the initial fermentation, microbes of water are added. Fermentation proceeds at a fast rate initially and levels off after 28 days. Then sludge and effluent are mixed. The sludge is either in dry or wet form that can be used as feed supplement for livestock or Suggestions to the Government and the Industrialists as fertilizer. The effluent can be used for chlorella culture and also liquid fertilizer after aeration. Aside from yielding fertilizer and feed by-products, biogas reduces the cost of energy especially when compares to the costs incur red with the use of LPG and electricity Suggestions to the Government and the Industrialists Biogas Technology Organic wastes such as fruit peels and house hold left-over continue to pose problems to garbage collectors and urban planners. A viable solution to this is the biogas technology that makes use of organic wastes to produce a kind of fuel called biogas. Biogas is produced by the fermentation of organic wastes in the absence of oxygen and has the following composition: methane, nitrogen, carbon monoxide and other gases. It is a good substitute for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), gasoline, kerosene and electricity. Suggestions to the Government and the Industrialists Tissue culture Vital environment concern today is our denuded forests. We have to replant trees and we have to do it now. Raising of fruit trees and forest species likes grapes, palm, and coffee trees can be done at fast rate by means of tissue culture. Stem cutting used to be one of the means of propagating plants. Now a single potato can reproduce a million plantlets within a year, a sugar cane can grow callus indefinitely, a Suggestions to the Government and the Industrialists coconut can sprout tiny clumps of cells. One can also culture citrus into a thousand embryos for large plantation, breed eucalyptus tree in green houses for reforestation. On the side of the government, there is a need for a strong political will to enforce environment laws so as to check the abuse and neglect of the environment. Local authorities should strictly enforce laws and ordinances on pollution control measures for industries, as well as proper garbage disposal. Everyone’s responsibility The environment is not the only one suffering, we also suffer from death and diseases due to damaged environment. Unless we act fast to protect and heal the scared Earth, we shall all bear the brunt of our own carelessness.