Date
26 July 2017
Water samples from Un Chau Estate were found to contain excessive amount of lead, adding to the contamination scare in Hong Kong. Photo: HKEJ
Water samples from Un Chau Estate were found to contain excessive amount of lead, adding to the contamination scare in Hong Kong. Photo: HKEJ

Lead-in-water scandal envelopes two more housing estates

The government announced Thursday that two more public housing estates in the city were found with excessive levels of lead in their water, taking the total number of affected estates in the contamination scandal to ten.

Excessive lead has been found in 19 out of 135 samples taken from Un Chau Estate (phases 2 and 4) in Cheung Sha Wan, and 13 out of 90 samples from Choi Fook Estate in Kowloon Bay, RTHK reported.

Lead level in one sample from Un Chau Estate was 14 times the World Health Organization’s safety standard.

Meanwhile, two water samples from a teaching block at City University of Hong Kong contained 11 mcg and 18 mcg, exceeding the WHO’s safety standard of 10 mcg.

Students’ Union representatives have called for immediate suspension of the drinking water supply at the teaching block and full-scale water tests on campus.

In related news, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has announced the appointment of High Court judge Andrew Chan to head an independent Commission of Inquiry into the lead contamination issue at public housing estates.

Alan Lai, a former Ombudsman, will be the only other member of the inquiry commission besides Chan. The investigation is expected to be completed in nine months.

Democratic lawmaker Helena Wong criticized the administration for understaffing the inquiry commission. Given the scale of the tainted water crisis, the commission should have had more than two members, she said.

The government’s decision gives rise to doubts whether authorities are taking the lead-in-water scandal really seriously, Wong said.

– Contact us at [email protected]

DY/JP/RC

EJI Weekly Newsletter

Please click here to unsubscribe