Grim report on air pollution and how it affects children’s lungs

A new report shows alarming effects of air pollution on children’s lungs. We noted some preliminary findings of the report some weeks ago, but the report produced by Dr Hung Wing-tat’s team at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering has now been published. Called Health Effects of Air Pollution Exposure on School Children in Hong Kong, it is based on a study of 12 schools and analyses the quality of the air that the children breathe in the classroom, in their homes and in the transport they use travelling to school. It also measures the lung function of these children, who were from Form Five and Form Six. One class from each school was surveyed.

The report says children in 10 of the 12 schools surveyed had weaker lung function than they would normally have been expected to have. Children in only two of the schools had better lung function than expected. Children in 11 of the 12 schools had asthma, which also affected as many as 25 per cent of the children in one of the classes.