THE big news about air pollution seem to be coming just from Beijing these days, but residents in Hong Kong are not having an easy time, either.
The South China Morning Post reported on Sunday that air pollution levels there are now “very dangerous”, according to the city’s Hedley Environmental Index, which tracks outdoor air quality.
Writer Martin Williams said that from “midnight to 1pm today, there may have been four preventable deaths and 11,505 doctor visits attributable to breathing Hong Kong’s filthy air.”
In Hong Kong, more than 3,000 deaths and seven million doctor visits are related to air pollution every year.
Each kilometre reduction in visibility is associated with an increase in daily deaths from pollution, he added.
Just because you can’t do anything about the air outside – besides wearing face masks, maybe – doesn’t mean you can’t help your indoor air.
In Canada, portable air cleaners reduced particulates in homes using wood stoves, and there were improvements to residents’ blood vessels, suggesting the filters might decrease the risk of health effects from the wood smoke.
A Danish study found that HEPA filtration removed more than half of the ultrafine, fine, and coarse particles in homes of elderly people living near highways.
HEPA filters are great. They can capture particles as small as 0.3 microns – most airborne pollutants range from 2.5 microns and above – and are often used to dramatic effect.
With a HEPA filter, our tests at AOM show particle counts indoors dropping from as high as 5 million to several thousand.
If you’re in the market for an air filter, that’s the magic word: HEPA.