wellbeing news

Dioxin: Hong Kongers feel the harmful effects of tear gas

The Hong Kong Coalition Against Extradition Act collected all the tear gas-related data during a police press conference in the last six months. As a result, on November 15, police fired at least 9,362 cartridges of tear gas in the city.

Images of skin irritations such as allergies, dermatitis, rashes and calluses have been posted on Facebook. The place where the person was exposed to tear gas – either at work or at home – was marked in each picture. Obviously people are affected all over Hong Kong.

For example, a New Zealand woman named Nancy goes to work every day through Mong Kok and Tsim Sha Tsui, a heavily tear-polluted area. On November 3, Nancy had severe skin allergies in many parts of her body and had to take high doses of steroids and an allergy drug. However, after more than ten days, the affected skin was still swollen and the drug could not cure the allergies.

Dioxin in tear gas attacks humans – Chloracne

The Epoch Times has already reported that many police officers are infected with chloracinth, a rare skin disease. As a result, superiors told them not to talk about it – for fear that their colleagues would be concerned. A journalist who has worked in Hong Kong for the past two months has been diagnosed with chlorachnia.

Chloracne is an incurable skin lesion of cysts and nodes that is directly related to dioxin exposure. Hong Kong medical experts believe the skin change was due to tear gas released by Hong Kong police.

In a joint open letter published in Stand News magazine in Hong Kong, experts pointed out that the main component of tear gas, chloroacetophenone (CN), releases dioxin compounds when burned. Chloracne is a symptom of chlorinated hydrocarbon poisoning. "Changes to the internal organs and the central nervous system that are specific to poisoning can impair physical functions and eventually lead to death, such as cancer," according to Wikipedia.

Affected children

A member of the Hong Kong Mommy Extradition Association launched an online survey and called on parents in the city to report on the harmful effects of tear gas on their children.

Responses from 1,188 parents show that children are affected in almost every region of Hong Kong. Among them are 74 infants aged one year or younger and the youngest is only two months old. Most of the juvenile victims are from Yau Tsim Mong district, where 12 percent of the total population lives. Police fired the most intense tear gas there, followed by Tseung Kwan O New Town and Hong Kong Island East.

The most common symptoms are cough (65 percent) followed by dry throat (55 percent) and itchy skin (51 percent), the other 30 percent report rashes, 21 percent have diarrhea, and 9 percent report vomiting. Other symptoms include runny nose, eye pain, headache, abdominal pain and shortness of breath. Almost all affected children have more than one type of side effect. About 71 percent of children showed symptoms in November, when police stepped up to shoot tear gas.

Dead birds

On November 12, police fired a large amount of tear gas from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and attacked the protesters with a blue liquid of blue paint from a water cannon. Two days later, photos of the dead birds were posted on campus on Facebook. Many other dead birds have also been found in many other places in Hong Kong, such as in Mong Kok.

Since November 17, police have attacked the University of Hong Kong for several days in a row. In the picture, taken near the campus on November 19, five bird carcasses were seen bellying up on a rail less than ten feet long.

Medical expert: "Stop hurting Hong Kong citizens"

Dr. K. K. Kwong, a chemistry expert from the University of Hong Kong, called on Hong Kong authorities to prevent the use of tear gas in the police. During an interview on November 27, Dr. Kwong of the Chinese Epoch Times said tear gas had caused harm to Hong Kong citizens.

The police fired too many bullets with tear gas. Hong Kong is a densely populated city. As a result, the damage is much greater than in other regions, "he said.

Some hope that they can effectively protect themselves by wearing a gas mask. But Dr. Kwong pointed out that protection from harmful chemicals was not enough. "Protecting the mask prevents you from inhaling the smoke. However, the strain can also cause health problems. Chemicals from smoke and dust can also attach to your clothing," he said.

Worst case, Dr. Kwong encountered a patient with severe whole-skin growths. "I was horrified to see his hand," he said.

He warned authorities about the danger of dioxin-releasing chemical tear gas.

"I want to call the police no longer to be so brutal with our people. And we must tell the authorities to stop harming Hong Kong with dioxin! It affects the health of all people living in Hong Kong."

The article first appeared in the U.S. Epoch Times, Many Hong Kongers feel the harmful effects of tear gas on their health