Analytical & Advisory Services Division

Environmental Chemistry A Section

About the Section

This Section carries out chemical analysis and provides advisory service, in relation to organic pollutants, to client departments in support of the monitoring of air quality, water quality and waste management as well as the enforcement of environmental regulations on the control of release of organic pollutants. The Section also offers technical services to other government departments, for example, the source identification of spilled oils in Hong Kong waters for the Marine Department under the Shipping and Port Control Ordinance.


This Section helps to implement the following Ordinances under the Laws of Hong Kong:

  • Air Pollution Control Ordinance
  • Water Pollution Control Ordinance
  • Waste Disposal Ordinance
  • Shipping and Port Control Ordinance
  • Ozone Layer Protection Ordinance
  • Hazardous Chemicals Control Ordinance

This Section also provides analytical support to other government departments in relation to the investigation of air quality, water quality and waste management. In particular, it provides analytical support to the Environmental Protection Department for its environmental monitoring programmes on organic pollutants release.

Determination of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in air by GC-MS

Determination of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in air by GC-MS

Quality Assurance

Typical percentage of tests on routine samples for quality control purposes : 28%

The Section has participated regularly in the following proficiency tests:

  • Italian Intercalibration Dioxins Circuit (InterCinD)
  • Wageningen Evaluating Programs for Analytical Laboratories
    - International Sediment Exchange for Tests on Organic Contaminants (SETOC)
  • Environmental Resource Associates (ERA) Proficiency Testing Study
  • American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) re:source's Proficiency Sample Program (PSP)
  • Institute for Interlaboratory Studies (iis) REN/Food Ethanol

Key Instruments

The following instruments are used routinely by the Section:

  • High resolution gas chromatographs with double focusing high resolution mass spectrometers
  • Gas chromatographs with various detectors
  • Gas chromatographs with mass spectrometers and cryogenic concentrators
  • High performance liquid chromatographs with various detectors
  • Gas chromatograph with tandem mass spectrometer (GC/MS/MS)
  • High performance liquid chromatographs with tandem mass spectrometers (LC/MS/MS)


Targets and Key Indicators

Key Performance Measures Relating to the Statutory Testing of Environmental Samples

Targets #

# 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.

Key Indicators
Tests Performed on
Environmental Samples
2019 (Actual) 2020 (Actual) 2021 (Estimate)
Air pollution monitoring samples 65,541 60,406 63,000
Air pollution samples for litigation purposes 2,816 2,170 3,400
Field investigation (air pollution) samples 472 429 440
Water quality monitoring samples 129,685 99,055 126,000
Environmental waste monitoring samples 12,324 11,213 11,000
Environmental waste samples for
litigation purposes
307 122 320