LCQ5: Construction materials with radioactive substances
Following is a question by the Hon Ho Chung-tai and a reply by the Secretary for Planning and Lands, Mr John C Tsang, in the Legislative Council today (December 5):
Will the Government inform this Council whether:
(a) the authorities have carried out inspections on buildings completed in the past three years to check if materials with radioactive substances have been used in constructing the buildings; if so, of the results of such inspections;
(b) it has examined the short-term and long-term effects on health of people living or working in the buildings constructed with materials with radioactive substances; and
(c) legislation is in place to regulate the permitted radiation levels of construction materials; if not, whether it will consider introducing legislative control?
(a) We have not found the need to carry out specific inspections on buildings completed in the past three years in Hong Kong to check if radioactive substances have been used in building construction. We have been conducting instead periodic surveys on the concentration of radon which, if allowed to accumulate, may pose health risks. Our findings indicate that radon levels found in our buildings are substantially below the level recommended by the World Health Organization for remedial action to be taken.
(b) We have not conducted specific researches on the health effects of people living or working in buildings constructed with materials containing radioactive substances. As I have indicated in Part (a), our survey findings indicate that radon levels found in buildings in Hong Kong are substantially below the level recommended by the World Health Organization for remedial action to be taken.
(c) There is at present no legislation to regulate radiation levels of construction materials. We have no intention of introducing legislative control at this time because we consider that the health risks arising from radioactive substances in construction materials commonly used in Hong Kong are negligible.
End/Wednesday, December 5, 2001