Sun, Mar 04, 2018 - Page 3 News List

EPA issues alert as 42 stations show red levels

Staff writer, with CNA

Taipei residents wear masks yesterday as western and northern Taiwan suffered from poor air quality, with 42 air quality monitoring stations indicating red levels before noon.

Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) warned of poor air quality in western Taiwan yesterday as 42 air quality monitoring stations indicated red levels before noon, which means generally unhealthy air.

There was a lack of wind to disperse atmospheric pollutants, much of which came from the lighting of firecrackers for Lantern Festival the previous day, EPA Department of Air Quality Protection and Noise Control Director-General Tsai Hung-teh (蔡鴻德) said.

The EPA’s air quality index indicated red in northern and central Taiwan, and orange in southern Taiwan, meaning unhealthy air for sensitive groups, Tsai said.

He said the situation is unlikely to improve until tomorrow, but added that several state-run companies have reduced output to avoid any further deterioration in air quality.

Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) has reduced electricity output at its Taichung Power Plant and the Hsinta Power Plant in Kaohsiung, both of which burn coal.

The company cut total output by 17.5 million kilowatt-hours between 7am and 5pm the previous day, which translates to a reduction of 7 tonnes of sulfur oxides, 8.26 tonnes of nitrogen oxides and 0.65 tonnes of total suspended particulates.

State-owned CPC Corp, Taiwan made a similar effort that is reportedly expected to cut 2.7 tonnes of sulfur oxides, 1.5 tonnes of nitrogen oxides, 1 tonne of total suspended particulates and 0.5 tonnes of volatile organic compounds.

People in areas with poor air quality should avoid outdoor activities if they experience eye irritation, coughing or a sore throat, the EPA said, adding that young children, seniors and people with respiratory or cardiovascular ailments should avoid physical exertion and wear masks when outside.

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