1Hong Kong posts record roadside pollution levels .
2Hong Kong is set to record its worst-ever year for roadside air quality , the government said Thursday , amid more warnings over the public health hazard posed by pollution in the teeming metropolis .
3Curbside air pollution was at `` very high '' or `` severe '' levels almost 14 percent of the time during 2010 , according to official data calculated by AFP .
4The figures are a marked increase from 2009 when roadside air was poor about 10.5 percent of the time , and well above the 1.8 percent figure recorded in 2000 , the first full year of publicly available data .
5The `` severe '' category generates a government health warning advising the public to stay away from areas with heavy traffic .
6Air pollution has become a major public health and economic headache for authorities in the city of seven million .
7Emissions from the factory belt in southern China over Hong Kong 's northern border , combined with local emissions from power plants and transport , have generated a thick blanket of haze over the city in recent years .
8Green groups say authorities ' efforts to combat the problem -- including fitting old buses with emissions-busting devices -- fall woefully short .
9`` We are very disappointed by the government 's foot-dragging , '' Vivian Ngan , campaign manager of the Hong Kong-based Clean Air Network .
10`` Air pollution should be made a top priority as it endangers the lives of Hong Kongers , '' she added .