Residue worries raised in health rally

Top News | Jane Cheung 2 Dec 2019

Around 400 people joined a rally in Central against the use of tear gas, saying it is affecting the health of people, including children.

They marched yesterday from Edinburgh Place to government headquarters in Tamar demanding a territory-wide cleanup of tear gas residues. They also demanded that the government stop police from using tear gas.

Participants said they were suffering from eczema problems, coughing and diarrhea.

One of the organizers, Kong Shing-cheong, said the approved assembly was to show that parents are concerned with the health risks that tear gas residues pose on children.

"Police have been using tear gas for half a year, has it helped to calm the society?" he asked.

"[Chief Executive] Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor should instruct government bureaus to handle the aftermath of tear gas use properly, such as arranging for the cleaning of parks and streets," he said.

"It's not an issue of political stance, whether you are yellow or blue, but a problem concerning Hongkongers' health."

Some of the participants were parents who brought their children. They chanted slogans like "No more tear gas" and "I want to play in a poison-free park."

Some children stuck their drawings and written slogans on the fences outside the Central Government Offices before the crowd dispersed peacefully at 11.30am.

A participant surnamed Chan, who lives in Mong Kok with two children, said: "Last month I was shopping along Nathan Road when police fired tear gas at protesters.

" After that I suffered red patches and itchiness on my chest and back. I went to the doctors and had to take steroids for a week."

Meanwhile, a group of researchers announced the result of a study which showed that there was less capsicum spray residues from China-made tear gas canisters than US ones.

"Although tests showed China-made tear gas has a lower concentration of CS, they induce the same level of discomfort," HKG ETV said. It added it is concerned if there are unidentified harmful chemicals in Chinese tear gas.

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