Analytical & Advisory Services Division

Chemical Safety Section

About the Section

This section co-operates closely with the Hong Kong Observatory in the radiation monitoring of environmental samples and with the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department in the surveillance of radioactive contamination of foodstuff. To backup the Government's Daya Bay Contingency Plan, the Section is endowed with the responsibility of training the laboratory colleagues to provide uninterrupted emergency service in a nuclear mishap. In addition, the Section analyses samples from the Fire Services Department for classifications under the Dangerous Goods (Application and Exemption) Regulations and provides round-the-clock advisory and on-site investigation services for incidents that involve hazardous chemicals. The Section is also charged with the duty of furnishing scientific support to the Trade and Industry Department and the Customs and Excise Department for the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) as well as the import and export control of strategic commodities.


The Section is responsible for:

  • Lends technical support to the Hong Kong Observatory in the Environmental Radiation Monitoring Programme (ERMP).
  • Provides professional advise as well as analytical services to the Fire Services Department on the classifications of Dangerous Goods.
  • Provides technical advice to the relevant departments and bureaux regarding the enforcement of the Chemical Weapons (Convention) Ordinance, which provides for the legal basis for the implementation of the CWC in the HKSAR.
  • Provide technical and advisory assistance to the enforcement of the Import and Export (Strategic Commodities) Regulations under the Import and Export Ordinance (Cap 60).

Quality Assurance

About 15% of samples are for QC purpose.

X-ray diffractometer

X-ray diffractometer

Key Instruments

The following instruments are used routinely by the Section:

  • Gamma-ray spectrometers with high purity Ge detector
  • Low-level alpha/beta gas-proportional counter system
  • Alpha spectrometer
  • Fourier transform infrared spectrometer
  • Flash point testers
  • Gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer
  • Gas chromatograph-tandem mass spectrometer
  • Gas chromatograph-Fourier transform infrared spectrometer
  • Gas chromatograph with various detectors such as ECD, FID, FPD and TCD
  • X-ray diffractometer
  • Ion chromatograph
  • High performance liquid chromatograph - tandem mass spectrometer
X-ray diffractometer

X-ray diffractometer

Targets and Key Indicators

Key Performance Measures Relating to the Statutory Testing of Dangerous Goods

Targets #
Targets 2022 (Actual) 2023 (Actual) 2024 (Plan)
96 97 100 96
Key Indicators
Tests Performed on Dangerous Goods 2022 (Actual) 2023 (Actual) 2024 (Estimate)
Dangerous goods 6,503 5,203 5,000

Key Performance Measures Relating to the Advisory and Investigative Services of Radioactivity Monitoring Samples

Targets #
Targets 2022 (Actual) 2023 (Actual) 2024 (Plan)
95 99 99 95
Key Indicators
Tests Performed on Radioactivity
Monitoring Samples
2022 (Actual) 2023 (Actual) 2024 (Estimate)
Radioactivity monitoring samples 4,637 4,926 4,700

# For targets where reporting time is mentioned, different samples require different analytical procedures, hence different reporting time. The quoted number of working days required represents an average of reporting time for the different types of samples and test requests within the category, while the target (in percentage) is the total compliance rate of the concerned samples and test requests within a particular category against their respective targets.