Law Chi-kwong says barbecue dioxins, more harmful than teargasLocal | 4 Dec 2019 1:58 pm
The government has responded to growing concerns that tear gas fired by riot police could be harming people's health by saying that even a barbecue can pose more of a risk, RTHK reports.
More than 10,000 rounds of tear gas have been fired since protests began in June and the administration's refusal to reveal the chemical content of the gas has only added to fears that the public is being poisoned.
In Legco today, Labour Party lawmaker Fernando Cheung asked whether the government has undertaken any assessments to find out whether tear gas could affect the long-term health of people with disabilities.
In response, Welfare Secretary Law Chi-kwong said tear gas only causes mild respiratory and skin irritation.
He added that protesters burning plastic barriers would have been one of the biggest causes of toxic dioxins in the air recently.
"For the dioxins resulting from tear gas, I think it has been found from literature that it is minimal or even non-existent. In fact, when compared with dioxins resulting from our barbecue activities, I think the level is indeed very minimal," Law said.
Tear gas has not only affected protesters, passers-by and journalists, but also people in schools, elderly care homes, hospitals, and those in their own homes.
The government says the chemical content of the tear gas cannot be revealed due to police operational reasons.