The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) has promulgated five rules and regulations under the Indoor Air Quality Management Act (室內空氣品質管理法), which came into force on Friday as the nation became only the second country in Asia to legally regulate indoor air quality.
Initially put forward on Nov. 23 last year, the Indoor Air Quality Management Act was enacted on Friday, making Taiwan the second country after South Korea to set regulations for managing indoor air quality, the EPA said.
The act is an extension of the outdoor air quality management, based on the Air Pollution Control Act (空氣污染防制法), brought into public indoor spaces, the EPA said.
It said throughout a year of preparations, the administration organized several public hearings to gather opinion from various sectors on setting up five related regulations and rules. The EPA also held training programs for indoor air quality management personnel, who will play a decisive role in implementing indoor air quality maintenance and management plans.
Along with the enactment of the act, the EPA also promulgated the Indoor Air Quality Management Act Enforcement Rules, Indoor Air Quality Standards, Regulations Governing Dedicated Indoor Air Quality Management Personnel, Air Quality Analysis Management Regulations and the determination that describe violations to the act.
According to data provided on the EPA’s Web site, people in Taiwan spend about 80 to 90 percent of their time indoors. However, given the proliferation of air conditioning systems in homes and office spaces in the past two or three decades, the problem of “sick building syndrome” has occurred.
The EPA quoted the WHO definition of the syndrome as “an excess of work-related irritations of the skin and mucous membranes and other symptoms, including headache, fatigue and difficulty concentrating, reported by workers in office buildings,” and added that because Taiwan’s climate is often hot and humid — making it easy for mold or germs to grow — the routine cleaning of air conditioning systems is especially important.
In addition, the EPA said that indoor air quality is especially important for children, pregnant women, elderly people and people with chronic diseases, because they spend most of their time indoors. A WHO report also showed that children are more easily affected by poor indoor air quality than adults. Of the about 100,000 people who die of asthma each year globally, about 35 percent are children, according to the WHO report.
The EPA’s Air Quality Protection and Noise Control Bureau said although the act has already taken effect, the actual implementation would take place in stages. The first phase is set to focus on about 500 public places, including larger medical facilities, elderly care centers, central governmental agencies and transportation stations.
The air pollutants under regulation include carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds, it added.
LIABILITIES MULLED: New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi said Taipei would find out if the firm was legally registered, the guide was licensed and the weather was assessed The assets of Tian Da Local Nature Co are to be frozen after at least four people died after falling into the Beishi River (北勢溪) on an outing the company had organized on Saturday, the Taipei City Government said yesterday. Six people — two adults and four children — were washed away by a flash flood on the river in New Taipei City’s Hubaotan (虎豹潭) area. They were participating in a Nature Joy Camp outdoor activity with a group of 16 adults and 15 children led by a guide surnamed Su (蘇). As of 4:30pm yesterday, four of the missing had been
Taiwanese worked more hours than people in all but three other countries in the world last year, Ministry of Labor data showed. Singapore placed first in average hours worked among the 40 economies surveyed, with an average of 2,288 hours per worker last year, the data showed. The city-state was followed by Colombia with 2,172 hours — based on 2019 data — and Mexico with 2,124 hours, it showed. Taiwan came in fourth, with 2,021 hours, it showed. South Korean workers clocked the third-most hours in Asia, with 1,908 hours, followed by Japan with 1,598 hours, it showed. However, compared with 2019, the survey found
The US 7th Fleet yesterday confirmed that a US Navy ship transited the Taiwan Strait on Thursday and Friday. “The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Dewey [DDG 105] conducted a Taiwan Strait transit in cooperation with Royal Canadian Navy [RCN] Halifax-class frigate, HMCS Winnipeg, October 14-15, 2021,” the US 7th Fleet said in a statement. “Dewey’s and Winnipeg’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the commitment of the United States and our allies and partners to a free and open Indo-Pacific. Cooperation like this represents the centerpiece of our approach to a secure and prosperous region,” it added. The transit marked the
‘COUNTERPRODUCTIVE’: The German, French and Singaporean missions said that Taiwan’s COVID-19 restrictions are hindering local projects and business operations Several foreign missions in Taiwan have urged the government to ease its strict COVID-19 border controls, which they say are hurting in-person exchanges and business operations. The missions made the appeal in response to media inquiries on how the border controls have affected their respective countries’ exchanges with Taiwan, amid growing concerns voiced privately by Taiwan-based foreign offices and businesses regarding the restrictions. Taiwan has maintained strict entry requirements since March last year, generally prohibiting most arrivals except for citizens and foreign residents, while it has required those who enter the country to undergo a stringent 14-day quarantine. Although the rules have been