Fri, Jan 11, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Group calls for improved PM10 controls

LAST YEAR’S FIGURES:The director of Air Clean Taiwan said emission statistics show that Taiwan is at least 40 years behind Tokyo in terms of its regulations

By Hsieh Chun-lin and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

From left, New Power Party Legislator Hsu Yung-ming, Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Liu Chien-kuo, Air Clean Taiwan director Yeh Kuang-fan and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Arthur Chen attend a news conference in Taipei yesterday in which they called on the government to do more about lowering PM10 pollution.

Photo: CNA

Environmental group Air Clean Taiwan yesterday released statistics on particulate matter exceeding 10 micrometers (PM10), and said that Taiwan should step up its efforts to control PM10 emissions.

Particulate matter is considered a Group 1 carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the WHO, Air Clean Taiwan director Yeh Kuang-fan (葉光芃) said.

Studies have also shown that PM10 can affect the brain development of children and lead to cardiovascular disease, as well as cause fetuses to be underweight, Yeh said.

As of last year, the PM10 levels in Taiwan far exceeded Tokyo’s average 40 years ago, an indicator that Taiwan is at least 40 years behind Tokyo in terms of PM10 emission regulations, Yeh said.

Tokyo’s average PM10 levels in 1998 were comparable to Taipei and Taoyuan’s figures for last year, but by 1999 the levels in Tokyo had dropped to less than anything recorded in the six special municipalities, Yeh said.

Starting from 2008, Tainan and Kaohsiung took turns being the city with the highest average annual amount of PM10 in the nation, reflecting a lack of concern by mayors, Yeh said.

Yeh said Premier William Lai (賴清德), who was mayor of Tainan, failed to take action to control PM10 emissions during his time as mayor and as premier.

Yeh said he could not answer whether Tainan was fit for a place for retirement or to live in, as Tainan’s PM10 levels were almost three times that of Kyoto, Japan.

In addition, Mailiao Township (麥寮) in Yunlin County recorded the top average PM10 level from 2014 to last year, Yeh said, adding that he suspected the source could be the naphtha cracker in the area.

Hsu Kuang Elementary School in Yunlin County and Nanzih Elementary School in Kaohsiung were two schools at which PM10 pollution was simply off the charts, Yeh said.

Citing Environmental Protection Administration data, which showed that the PM10 level near Hsu Kuang has dropped to less than 1,000 micrograms per cubic meter, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Liu Chien-kuo (劉建國) said it was evident that what matters is whether local governments are serious about the issue.

Liu called on the government to heed professional advice on how to reduce particulate matter.

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