The west of the nation yesterday labored under a haze of concentrated air pollutants riding a cold air mass originating in China, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said.
Under the EPA-applied index for PM2.5, or fine particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometers, the islands of Kinmen and Matsu ranked 10 on the one-to-10 scale, according to the latest data on the EPA’s Taiwan Air Quality Monitoring Network Web site.
Most areas on Taiwan proper recorded PM2.5 levels between seven and nine.
Hualien and Taitung, separated from the west of the nation by high mountains, had relatively cleaner air quality with a particle pollution level of five.
Level 10 particle pollution means the PM2.5 concentration is above 72 micrograms per cubic meter of air.
Measurements above level 7 are deemed severe enough to cause discomfort and health problems.
The EPA advised avoiding outdoor activities for elderly residents of affected areas as well as those suffering lung problems, heart problems, and coughs or discomfort around the eyes.
People with asthma might also need to use their inhalers more often than usual while the pollution persists, it said.
The seasonal air pollution is expected to ease only slightly in the next two days, with the particle pollution level in most parts of Taiwan proper expected to hover between levels 5 and 9.
As of yesterday afternoon, no predictions of particle pollution levels on Kinmen or Matsu islands were available.
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