Representatives of the Taiwan Environmental Protection Union (TEPU) yesterday took an appeal to the Presidential Office, alleging a weather radar in Chiku Township (七股), Tainan County, was causing a high rate of mental retardation and other illnesses in the area.
Accompanied by alleged victims of the electromagnetic waves emitted by the Doppler weather radar station in Yencheng Village (
The Doppler radar station was built in 2001 and is one of four such stations in the country. The bureau's Weather Integration and Nowcasting System (WINS) employs Doppler radar both to monitor and predict precipitation.
PHOTO: MEGGIE LU, TAIPEI TIMES
A woman surnamed Chang (張), whose six-year-old granddaughter was diagnosed with severe mental retardation (MR) this month, attended the appeal. Chang's granddaughter is the third in the family to be diagnosed with MR after Chang's two youngest sons received the same diagnosis, Chen said.
Chen said that medical tests had revealed no genetic predisposition in the family for MR, while lead poisoning and radioactive contamination in the area had also been ruled out.
Chen said that, in addition to MR cases, the village had also seen an increase in the incidence of hearing loss, brain damage and cancer since the installment of the radar station.
She cited 12 articles by international scientists to support her claim that radioactivity in residential areas is harmful to human health.
Chen said National Taiwan University and the Industrial Technology Research Institute had measured the electromagnetic waves in the village at 4,027 and 84,200 microwatts per square meter respectively. A report by US scientist S. Amy Sage last month suggested that levels above 1,000 microwatts per square meter be avoided for health reasons.
After meeting a Presidential Office representative, Chen said the the staffer had promised to relay the group's appeal to the president.
In addition to the appeal, Chiku residents demonstrated yesterday against the radar's presence in their community.
The weather bureau said in a press release later yesterday that the research TEPU had cited concerned low-frequency electromagnetic waves, microwaves and handheld radar, adding that Doppler waves are different.
In addition, the radar is perched 30m above the ground, it said, adding that since the installment of the station in 2001, the bureau has employed independent agencies to test electromagnetic levels on five occasions.
The most recent electromagnetic test, conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), was completed last week, the statement said, adding that electromagnetic waves were measured at 25,200 microwatts per square meter directly around the radar and 10,200 microwatts per square meter near the closest residency. The release said this was 0.1 percent to 0.25 percent of the EPA's safety limit.
GREATER NUMBER: The sorties might have been a response to the US and the EU expressing concern on Friday over China’s ‘provocations’ in the Taiwan Strait Twenty-five Chinese military aircraft and four naval ships were detected around Taiwan from 6am Saturday to 6am yesterday, including eight airplanes that had crossed the median line of the Taiwan Strait and another two that entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ). The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aircraft that entered Taiwan’s southwestern ADIZ were a Y-8 anti-submarine plane and a BZK-005 uncrewed aerial vehicle, the Ministry of National Defense said. The aircraft that flew across the median line include two Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets, four J-16 multipurpose fighters and two J-10 jets, the ministry’s official Web site showed. Taiwan’s armed forces monitored the
The building of a Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) plant in Phoenix, Arizona, is expected to lead to the creation of a “Little Taipei” over the coming year, as TSMC employees and related companies move in, a Phoenix-based real-estate agent has said. TSMC is investing US$12 billion to build a wafer plant in northern Phoenix that is scheduled to begin mass production in 2024. The company on Tuesday held a “tool-in” ceremony to mark the installation of the first batch of equipment at the fab. Some TSMC employees have moved into newly constructed apartments in a community 10 minutes’ drive from the
The US Navy could use experimental “lightning carriers” in a possible conflict with China over Taiwan, Business Insider reported on Wednesday. The lightning carrier concept involves using converted amphibious assault ships (LHAs) carrying Lockheed Martin F-35B “Lightning II” stealth jets. It was tested last summer by the US Navy and US Marines Corps using the America-class warship USS Tripoli. US Vice Admiral Karl Thomas, the commander of the US Navy 7th Fleet, in October said that the concept is part of efforts to increase the firepower of the fleet’s ships, Business Insider reported. Thomas made the remarks during an event hosted by think
LUNAR NEW YEAR PEAK: Taiwanese who are in China should get vaccinated and consider returning early, as infection rates are expected to increase, the CECC said China faces five major problems once COVID-19 begins spreading there, with a peak in infections likely during the Lunar New Year holidays, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Victor Wang (王必勝), who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), said yesterday. Wang wrote on Facebook that according to the center’s data, the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in China is worth noting, as the new Omicron subvariants BF.7 and BA.5.2 spreading in China are highly infectious and are more transmissible than the previously dominating Omicron subvariants. “The virus cannot be eliminated even under China’s strict control measures,” he wrote. “Its policy