Thu, Mar 13, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Air pollution alert issued for central, southern Taiwan

CHANGE IN THE AIR:A lack of wind has caused pollutants to remain in areas on the lee side of the Central Mountain Range, an EPA official said

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) yesterday issued a warning over bad air quality in several areas in central and southern Taiwan beginning last night, but said it is expected to ease tomorrow.

According to the EPA’s Taiwan Air Quality Monitoring Network, PM2.5 (particles under 2.5 micrometers in diameter) readings at most monitoring stations in Yunlin and Chiayi counties as well as Greater Tainan exceeded 100 micrograms per cubic meter as of 5pm yesterday.

The PM2.5 daily average standard is set at 35 micrograms per cubic meter and the yearly average standard is set at 15 micrograms per cubic meter.

The pollutant standards index showed the air quality in the areas was at the “unhealthy” level.

Chang Shun-chin (張順欽), deputy director of the EPA’s Department of Environmental Monitoring and Information Management, said that although haze was affecting Beijing, the reason for the bad air quality in Yunlin, Chiayi and Greater Tainan was not cross-border pollution, but poor dispersion in the area.

He said that since there was less wind because of the change in seasons, pollutants tend to remain in areas on the lee side of the Central Mountain Range (中央山脈).

As a cold front and a northeast monsoon were forecast to arrive last night, the pollution levels in central and southern Taiwan are expected to drop today and return to normal tomorrow, the EPA said.

The EPA said that people who are sensitive to air pollution should wear face masks and use public transportation instead of riding motorcycles if outdoor activity is unavoidable.

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