Many Hongkongers Feel the Adverse Health Effects of Tear Gas

By Olivia Li, Epoch Times
November 28, 2019 Updated: November 29, 2019

Many Hong Kong residents complain that they have contracted skin diseases and their children suffer a variety of discomfort from the toxic fumes of tear gas. In addition, dead birds have been found in many places, including at the two universities that were heavily assaulted by Hong Kong police in the past two weeks.

Hong Kong’s Anti-Extradition Bill Coalition has collected all data related to the police firing of tear gas, based on police press conferences in the past six months, and has concluded that as of Nov. 15, police fired at least 9,362 rounds of tear gas in the city.

Skin Irritations

Images showing skin irritations, such as allergies, dermatitis, rashes and blisters have been posted on Facebook, and the location where the person was exposed to tear gas—either in the workplace or at home—was marked on each picture. Apparently, people all over Hong Kong have been affected.

【#全民硬食催淚煙後遺】全港各區經歷多日「#催淚煙放題」,除了「放題」當下的種種身體不適,#化學污染物 帶來的健康問題陸逐浮現,港九新界多區市民出現 #皮膚敏感、#皮膚炎、#紅疹 及 #水泡 等皮膚問題,痕癢難當。#journesis #化學污染 ======IG: instagram.com/journesis

Posted by Journesis on Sunday, November 17, 2019

 

A netizen named Nancy walks through Mong Kok and Tsim Sha Tsui when she goes to work every day—an area that is heavily polluted from tear gas. On Nov. 3, Nancy developed severe skin allergies on many parts of her body and had to take large doses of steroids and anti-allergy drugs. But more than ten days later, the affected skin areas were still swollen and the medicine couldn’t cure the allergies.

Many Contracted Chloracne

The Epoch Times previously reported that many policemen contracted chloracne, a rare skin illness, and that their supervisors ordered them to keep quiet about the issue over fears that their colleagues would get worried.

A journalist who has been working at the front lines of the Hong Kong protests in the past two months was also diagnosed with chloracne.

Chloracne is an incurable skin eruption of blackheads, cysts and nodules, which has been linked directly to dioxin exposure. Medical experts in Hong Kong believe it resulted from exposure to tear gas fired by Hong Kong police. In a joint open letter published in Hong Kong-based Stand News, experts pointed out that the main component of tear gas, chloroacetophenone (CN), releases dioxin-like compounds upon firing.

Affected Children

An online survey initiated by Hong Kong Moms Against the Extradition Bill, a non-government organization, invited parents in the city to share about the adverse health effects of tear gas they observed on their children.

Responses from 1,188 parents show that children in almost every area of Hong Kong have been affected. Among them, 74 are infants aged one or under, with the youngest being only two months old. The largest number of underage victims are from Yau Tsim Mong, where police fired tear gas most intensively, accounting for 12 percent of the total victims, followed by Tseung Kwan O and Hong Kong Island East.

The most common symptoms are coughing, accounting for 65 percent, followed by dry throat (55 percent), and itchy skin (51 percent). Rashes, diarrhea, and vomiting accounted for 30 percent, 21 percent, and 9 percent. Other symptoms include runny nose, eye pain, headache, abdominal pain, and difficulty breathing. Almost all affected children have more than one type of adverse reaction. About 71 percent of children developed the symptoms in November, when police intensified their firing of tear gas.

Bird Deaths

On Nov. 12, police fired a large amount of tear gas and sprayed blue-dyed water from water cannon trucks at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Two days later, netizens posted pictures on Facebook of dead birds inside the campus.

Dead birds were also found in several other places in Hong Kong, such as Mong Kok, according to other posts.

市民交稅是信任政府會善用公帑保障市民權益,暴政卻利用惡法用公帑聘人手和買武器傷害市民,市民動輒得咎,暴政無法無天。#香港 有 #標籤法 和…

Posted by 關麗珊 on Wednesday, November 20, 2019

 

Beginning on Nov. 17, police assaulted Hong Kong Polytechnic University for several days in a row. In a picture taken near the campus on Nov. 19, five bird carcasses, with their bellies facing up, were seen on a stretch of road less than 32 feet long.

九龍灣一手……好慘……我相信今日好多地方都會有,大家行路小心啲唔好掛住望手機……*birds are dying in hong kong citydue to the toxins from tear gas**(香港)催涙ガスのせいで、鳥たちが亡くなってしまった*

Posted by 千淺 on Monday, November 18, 2019

Medical Expert: ‘Stop Harming Hong Kong Citizens’

Dr. K Kwong, an expert in Chemistry from the University of Hong Kong, urged Hongkongers to take action against the police use of tear gas.

During a Nov. 27 interview, Dr. Kwong told the Chinese-language Epoch Times that the firing of tear gas certainly brought harm to Hong Kong.

“The police fired too many rounds of tear gas. Hong Kong is a densely populated city, and the harm incurred is therefore a lot worse than in other regions,” he said.

Some people think they can effectively protect themselves by wearing a gas mask, but Dr. Kwong pointed out that it’s not enough to guard against harmful chemicals.

“The protection a mask provides is preventing you from inhaling the smoke. However, skin exposure can also cause health problems. The chemicals from smoke and the dust can cling to your clothes as well,” he said.

Dr. Kwong said the worst case he encountered was a patient who had severe acne-like skin eruptions on his entire arm. “I was appalled upon seeing his arm,” he said.

He warned authorities about the dangers of the chemical dioxin released from tear gas.

“I want to urge the police to stop being so brutal to our people. And we must tell the authorities to stop harming Hongkongers with dioxin! It affects the health of everyone living in Hong Kong.”

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