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Wednesday, July 22, 2015, 18:47

Lead in Shek Kip Mei Estate water exceeds limit


HONG KONG - Political parties found excessive levels of lead in water samples collected in the newer blocks of the Shek Kip Mei Estate, near Sham Shui Po in Kowloon.

The safe lead level in drinking water, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), is ten microgram per liter. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fixed the action level for lead in drinking water at 15 microgram per liter.

One cold water sample collected at a flat at Shek Kip Mei Estate by Kowloon West New Dynamic contained 12 micrograms per liter of lead. Lead level in a hot water sample even reached 82 micrograms per liter.

A separate test conducted by the Democratic Alliance of the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong also saw excessive lead level in a water sample collected from the same estate. At the level of 34 micrograms per liter, the sample failed the standards of both WHO and EPA.

It was known that Ho Biu Kee Construction Engineering Company installed all plumbing at the fifth phrase of the redeveloped Shek Kip Mei Estate. The four blocks were completed in 2012.

The government has expanded water test for heavy metals in public housing estates completed in or after 2011.

The authority has confirmed lead contamination in drinking water at Kai Ching Estate in Kowloon City, second phrase of Kwai Luen Estate in Kwai Chung, and Wing Cheong Estate at Sham Shui Po.

Political parties have also reported positive results at Lower Ngau Tau Kok Estate near Kowloon Bay and Shui Chuen O Estate in Shatin. Subsequent test by the government at Shui Chuen O gave negative results, though.

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