HONG KONG BUZZ: New way to cut your family’s exposure to air pollution created by staff and students at HKUST
A mobile app that helps residents find the best routes to minimise exposure to air pollution is now available from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. It gives a high-resolution (down to two metres) outdoor air quality map showing pollution at street level. Called PRAISE-HK, it also shows daily hospital admissions attributable to major pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, ozone, particulates and sulphur dioxide. The app was created by staff and students at the university’s Institute for the Environment. They are following in the footsteps of pioneering campaigner Professor Anthony J. Hedley.
If you would like to take a look at the new app, launched last month, you can download it:
The app highlights pollution hot-spots and areas of better air quality. The institute said air pollution in Hong Kong has improved significantly in recent years, but is still far below WHO Air Quality Guidelines. They are more blunt at the School of Public Health at the University of Hong Kong: air pollution in Hong Kong is downright dangerous, especially for those with weakened health or exposed to heavy metal particulates.
The new app shows street to street air quality variation, which was not available previously. Professor Alexis Lau said, “We have entered the Artificial Intelligence era. We should combine innovation and new technology to solutions for a smarter and healthier lifestyle.”
The late Professor Hedley, who campaigned fiercely when he was Head of the School of Public Health against smoking and air pollution, created the Hedley Environmental Index early this century. It groups districts into bands showing whether air pollution is low, moderate, high, very high and serious. It offers individual profiles — helping people identify their hospitalisation and mortality risks attributable to current air pollutants plus real-time air quality — telling people what air pollutants exceed WHO guidelines at their current location.
You can download Tony Hedley’s index, which has been upgraded with new technology since he died:
The article was published in HONG KONG BUZZ: https://hongkongbuzz.hk/2019/07/new-way-to-cut-your-familys-exposure-to-air-pollution-created-by-staff-and-students-at-hkust