Thu, Feb 01, 2007 - Page 2 News List

EPA says weather front will carry more air pollutants

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said yesterday a cold front that is expected to hit Taiwan today will bring more air pollutants to the country and advised people with cardiovascular or respiratory disease to avoid going outdoors.

Chang Shun-chin (張順欽), a section chief at the EPA's Department of Environmental Monitoring and Information Management, said that most of the pollutants that have accompanied cold fronts in recent weeks were industrial waste produced by factories along China's coast.

Sandstorms from Inner Mongolia -- the most common source of air pollution in Taiwan in past winter seasons -- had no noticeable effect this year, Chang said.

Monitoring conducted by the EPA as of yesterday morning showed that the air quality in Taiwan remained unsatisfactory, with an especially high concentration of particulate matter detected in the atmosphere.

The greatest increase in particulate matter concentrations was observed on Kinmen and Matsu, where they reached 151 micrograms per square meter (?g/m2) and 199?g/m2 respectively, EPA officials said.

Air quality in northern Taiwan was also poor, with particulate concentration at 124?g/m2 in Taipei County's Wanli (萬里), 111?g/m2 on Yangmingshan and 99?g/m2 in downtown Taipei City, all exceeding the background concentration of 80?g/m2, the officials said.

The concentration of sulfur dioxide detected in downtown Taipei City also increased.

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