The Executive Yuan yesterday announced that students at Ciaotou Elementary School’s Syucuo (許厝) branch are to be transferred to Fongrong Elementary School in Lunbei Township (崙背) to avoid further exposure to pollutants from Formosa Petrochemical Corp’s naphtha cracker in Yunlin County’s Mailiao Township (麥寮).
A three-year study conducted by the National Health Research Institutes (NHRI) found that thiodiglycolic acid (TdGA) levels in the urine — an indicator of carcinogen vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) exposure — of Syucuo students were significantly higher than students in other schools.
The finding was reported to Yunlin County’s Health Bureau and the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) in June to decide whether the Syucuo branch, which is about 900m from the naphtha cracker, should be relocated.
During one of the three forums Premier Lin Chuan (林全) held with civic groups on the issue last week, National Taiwan University (NTU) public health professor Chan Chang-chuan (詹長權), who has conducted epidemiological studies near the cracker for several years, suggested that the government relocate students at the Syucuo branch to protect their health.
At the Health Promotion Administration yesterday, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Director Guo Yue-liang (郭育良) said the NHRI study showed that the urinary TdGA levels of Syucuo students who were moved to the main campus of Ciaotou Elementary School dropped by about 20 percent.
“The average urinary TdGA level was 173 micrograms per gram of creatinine [mcg/g-creatinine] when they were at the Syucuo branch, 900m from the cracker, but the average urinary TdGA level was 147mcg/g-creatinine after they were moved to the main campus, 5.5km from the cracker plant,” he said.
The students’ average urinary TdGA level further dropped to 35mcg/g-creatinine during the summer vacation, he said.
Kuo said a urinary TdGA level of more than 160mcg/g-creatinine can cause damage to liver functions.
NTU Hospital pediatrician Chang Luan-yin (張鑾英) said that since the study clearly showed that urinary TdGA levels in students dropped the farther they were from the cracker, the Syucuo branch should be relocated for the sake of the students.
Executive Yuan spokesman Tung Chen-yuan (童振源) said that Lin values Chan’s suggestion and as the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s specialists review had confirmed that environmental pollution posed a threat to students’ health, the government has decided to relocate the Syucuo students to Fongrong Elementary School.
Tung said that the Ministry of Education on Aug. 5 approved a budget of NT$872,000 (US$27,404) for Fongrong to expand and improve its school building and teaching facilities, with all work expected to be completed before school starts on Monday next week.
The Executive Yuan asks all related departments to assist the Yunlin County Government and engage in risk communication with the students, families and faculty, as well as continue to investigate the pollution source, monitor the environment and conduct epidemiological studies on health risks to sensitive groups, he added.
White-label cellphones manufactured in a Chinese factory are believed to contain Trojan software that enables fraudsters to set up mobile game accounts using the owners’ phone numbers, police said on Saturday, with nearly 100 older people affected so far. After receiving a number of complaints from local branches over the past few months, the National Police Agency launched an investigation into the mobile game points-for-cash scam. The fraudsters would pose as women online to persuade people to buy game point cards at supermarkets and load the points into accounts created with the cellphone users’ phone numbers before requesting cash refunds from the
‘UNAFRAID’: Most Taiwanese do not seem to be aware of the danger of war and might be unprepared, a KMT legislator said of the poll by an affiliated foundation Nearly 60 percent of Taiwanese believe that a war between Taiwan and China is “unlikely” or “impossible,” a survey released yesterday by the National Policy Foundation showed. The survey asked participants if they thought there was a possibility of war between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait based on recent developments, said the foundation, which is affiliated with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). While 42.5 percent of respondents thought it was “unlikely” and 17.1 percent believed it was “impossible,” 5.1 percent said it was “very likely” and 17.2 percent said it was “fairly possible,” the survey showed. Another 18.2 percent gave
The Taipei District Court yesterday ordered three more suspects in a feces attack on a Taipei restaurant to be held incommunicado over concerns that they might tamper with evidence, flee or renew their alleged attacks. The three suspects — two brothers surnamed Lee (李) and another man identified as Chiang (江) — were arrested on charges of vandalism, public insult, extortion and injury after the court held a detention hearing earlier in the day, court spokesperson Huang Pei-chen (黃珮禎) said. The court in a statement said that the three men said they had no rancor against anyone in the restaurant and that
DISCUSSION: The KMT chairman said that Retrocession Day is an important ROC holiday and its celebration had nothing to do with a struggle within the party The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) hopes to highlight the “important connection” between the Republic of China (ROC) and Taiwan with its celebration of Retrocession Day on Sunday, KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said yesterday. In response to media queries in Taichung, Chiang said that Retrocession Day is an important ROC holiday, and that its celebration had nothing to do with a struggle within the KMT over its party line. The KMT values ROC holidays, such as Double Ten National Day and Retrocession Day, he said, adding that since the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) came to power, observation of the holidays has “weakened.” The