9th August 2019 – (Hong Kong) A survey on the health impacts of exposure to tear gas in the 2019 Hong Kong anti-extradition bill protests was conducted by local doctors on front line reporters. At least 170 reported have filled up questionnaires for the survey. Dr Kwong Po-yin who led the poll expressed that protesters and civilians might experience more adverse health impacts compared to front line reporters after exposure to tear gas.
More than 96.2% of reporters suffered from respiratory symptoms after exposure to tear gas. The sides effects experienced by them during the 28/7 clash were 1.6 times higher than the 12/6 stand off at Admiralty. Several protesters who were affected by tear gas rounds on 12/6 had persistent cough and developed symptoms of bronchitis & pneumonia.
The survey results showed that after the 28th July violent clash, 96.2% of reporters suffered from breathing difficulties, persistent cough and cough with blood. 72.6% developed symptoms of rashes, red spots and itchiness. Meanwhile, 53.8% suffered from watery and swollen eyes etc and 40.6% suffered from diarrhoea, stomach ache and nausea.
Police have been firing rounds of tear gas at protesters since June. Even though tear gas is allowed to be used by enforcement officials to disperse crowd. Dr Wong from Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong who also took part in the research conveyed that police should be restrained from misuse of tear gas.