The number of smog-filled days has increased by 28 percent to 303 so far this year with particle levels in one urban area, Sham Shui Po, reaching “very dangerous” levels last week, according to the World Health Organization.
Additionally, CNN reports that maritime pollution from shipping in Hong Kong is blamed for the most most sulfur dioxide-related deaths within the region.
The city doesn’t have any laws or requirements for shipping companies to use cleaner fuel in Hong Kong waters.
Shipping pollution from sulfur oxides (SOx) and nitrous oxides (NOx) along busy trade routes can equal carbon dioxide-driven ocean acidification, a study published earlier this year says.
Sulfur in marine fuel oil and atmospheric nitrogen create SOx and NOx in the exhaust gases from ships. According to the research paper published in the journal Geophysical Research Letter, these gases — like rising CO2 levels — also increase acidity in the ocean, which can harm coral, squid, mussels and other sea life.