Tue, Nov 10, 2015 - Page 5 News List

‘Extremely poor’ air may improve today, EPA says

Staff writer, wth CNA

The nation’s air quality was “extremely poor” yesterday and is expected to remain that way into today, according to the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA).

The EPA said air quality in the west was in the unhealthy range, with the density of fine particulate matter under 25 micrometers in diameter (PM2.5) reaching the hazardous level of 10 in the southwest.

In western areas of central and northern Taiwan, the PM2.5 levels were 9 and 7 respectively, the EPA said.

Air quality has been poor since Saturday, when the PM2.5 index reached mid-to-high levels — meaning between 36 and 70 milligrams per cubic meter — across much of the nation.

According to the EPA, PM2.5 level 10 concentrations, exceeding 72 micrograms per cubic meter, are considered extremely high, but measurements above level 7 are severe enough to cause discomfort and health problems.

The elderly and those with chronic lung problems or heart disease should avoid prolonged or strenuous outdoor physical activity, the EPA said, adding that people with asthma might also need to use their inhalers more often.

It said the poor air quality has been caused by restricted atmospheric dispersion — meaning little wind — but forecast that conditions might improve slightly tonight.

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