Founded in 1989, The Hong Kong Asthma Society is non-profit-making charity and patient self-help group, which provides services to asthmatics and allergic patients and their family members. In Hong Kong, around 10% of children are asthmatics, which 5% of adult are asthmatics. Asthma is the most common chronic respiratory illness. There are almost one hundred to one hundred and fifty million asthmatics around the world. There are various reasons for the decline of air quality in Hong Kong such as air pollution from the Pearl River delta, walled buildings in Hong Kong, high population density, electric company burns coal to generate electric power and cars used diesel oil. Dr Alfred Tam, the Chairman of The Hong Kong Asthma Society explains, “all kinds of long-term chronic cardio respiratory illness would be affected by air quality, bacteria infection and weather change. Air pollution is closely related to asthma and chronic respiratory illness.”
On the other hand, indoor air quality would also be affected by allergen, volatile organic compound (VOC), house dust mite and secondhand smoke, etc. And how can an asthmatic protect himself against these internal and external threats? Dr Tam suggests, “one way is to control asthmatic and respiratory illness condition through medication. Another way is to control the air quality in different environments as much as possible to reduce the affecting factors to respriatory tract, including avoiding breathing in secondhand smoke and using VOC detergents. Besides, installing indoor air disinfection apparatus is helpful to reduce the quatity of allergen and VOC contained in the air.” Furthermore, Dr Tam also suggests residents to go to the countryside more often. Practising more would contribute to health, improving immunity.