The air quality in the Legislative Yuan’s main chamber has reached a hazardous level and could endanger the hundreds of students and activists who have occupied it since Tuesday night, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers said yesterday, urging that the air conditioners in the room be turned on.
“With about 300 students and dozens of reporters packed inside the chamber since Tuesday night, air quality — a basic human requirement — has become poor. We call on the Legislative Yuan to deal with the issue immediately,” DPP Legislator Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) told a press conference in Taipei.
Legislative Yuan staff have refused to turn on the air conditioners because a legislative meeting is not being held in the chamber.
DPP Legislator Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟) said an on-site inspection showed that the carbon dioxide level in the room has reached 1,600 parts per million (ppm), which is much higher than the maximum permitted by law — 1,000ppm — while the carbon dioxide level in the corridor outside the chamber is a normal 400ppm.
DPP Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬) said the party’s caucus had raised the issue with the legislature’s employees, but was having trouble locating the appropriate officials, and believed the Legislative Yuan was using the lack of air conditioning as a tactic to punish the protesters.
Tsai Wei-min (蔡衛民), a member of the Legislative Yuan’s General Affairs Department, said the department would consider turning on the air-conditioners after an on-site inspection.
Air quality was not the only issue raised by protesters and opposition parties. They said they suspect the authorities have interfered with the Wi-Fi bandwidth around the Legislative Yuan compound, making it difficult for them to communicate through their smartphones and laptops.
They say communications have also been hindered by a lack of working electrical outlets in the chamber, some of which appear to have been tampered with to prevent protesters from recharging their mobile phones and other equipment.