Particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometers wide (PM2.5) and the hazards posed to the body show a direct relation between the density of PM2.5 matter emitted by the Greater Taichung coal-fired power station and the decrease of lifespan as well as the increased risk of contracting cardiovascular diseases, a recent study by National Chung Hsing University professor Tsuang Ben-jei (莊秉潔) said.
The findings were recently published in the international periodical Atmospheric Environment.
According to Tsuang, PM2.5 has been proven by foreign studies to increase the rates of triggering asthma or contracting cardiovascular diseases and cancers.
“Pope et al have shown in their 2009 paper that for every microgram per cubic meter of PM2.5, life expectancy goes down by 20 days,” Tsuang said, adding that other US research showed that on average, every incidence of PM2.5 increase caused 0.35 percent of general deaths and 0.88 percent due to lung cancer.
The Taichung coal-fired power plant is the largest in the world and a stable emitter of PM2.5, Tsuang said, adding that his team found that the power plant in 1997 put out 864 tonnes of PM2.5 and 93,000 tonnes of sulphur oxides. The emissions caused an increase of 2.53 micrograms per cubic meter of PM2.5, the equivalent of a decrease of 115 days of life expectancy for every person on the island, Tsuang said.
Despite the addition since 2007 of equipment at the plant to decrease the average emission of sulphur oxides to 14,000 tonnes, the plant still contributes 598 tonnes of PM2.5 yearly, increasing Taiwan’s annual PM2.5 density by 0.7 micrograms per cubic meter, he said.
The Environmental Protection Administration isolated PM2.5 as a standalone figure last year. Since then it has increased by 24 micrograms per cubic meter.
The current emission rate is capable of decreasing life expectancy by 15.4 days and is still beyond the amount human bodies can sustain, Tsuang’s studies show.
Tsuang said the government could change from coal-fired plants to power plants using cleaner natural gas, or even move the plants out of the more populated western part of Taiwan.
The Ma-anshan Nuclear Power Plant in Pingtung County’s Ma-anshan District (馬鞍山) is a possible spot for relocation, as it would lower the impact on public health, Tsuang said.
Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) said that research on PM2.5 analysis and control last year showed that the particulate matter produced impacted less than 1 percent of the total amount of PM2.5, adding that the emissions were well within regulations.
However, Taipower said that it would continue to invest in natural gas power plants, such as projects in Taoyuan County’s Datan Township (大潭) and Miaoli County’s Tongsiao Township (通霄).
Taiwan does not exclude the possibility of having formal diplomatic relations with countries that also have formal ties with China, regardless of Beijing’s stance, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said on Sunday. There was speculation in 2012 that Honduras was attempting to have simultaneous diplomatic relations with Taiwan and China, an idea that then-minister of foreign affairs David Lin (林永樂) rejected. Honduras severed formal ties with Taiwan on Sunday morning after establishing diplomatic relations with Beijing. President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration has taken a more practical approach to relations with like-minded countries since assuming government in 2016. Previous administrations took the
WASHED ASHORE: Of the 16 bodies discovered along Taiwan’s west coast this month, two were Vietnamese and five were Taiwanese, coast guard officials said Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥) said that he has instructed prosecutors and maritime authorities to launch investigations after 16 bodies were found along Taiwan’s west coast this month, amid speculation that they were victims of smuggling or human trafficking rings. Coast Guard Administration (CGA) officials said the bodies, most of which had washed ashore, were found by coast guard personnel and local residents along the coastline from Keelung to Kaohsiung. Thirteen of the bodies are male and three are female, the CGA said, adding that items found on the bodies indicate that two of the men were Vietnamese, while three men
TASK FORCE DISPATCHED: MOFA said it would assist state employees with repatriation or relocation to other ally nations in the region after Tegucigalpa severed ties The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Monday ordered Honduras to vacate its embassy in Taiwan within 30 days of Sunday after Tegucigalpa made a similar demand of Taiwan. Taipei on Monday announced that it had cut ties with Honduras after the Central American nation earlier said in a statement that it had established ties with Beijing and ended its diplomatic relationship with Taiwan. Following the announcements, Honduran Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Antonio Garcia spoke on Honduran television saying that Taiwan would be required to vacate its embassy in the Honduran capital. In Taipei, MOFA later told a news conference that “according
CHINA TRIP: The former president said he hoped the two sides of the Taiwan Strait would work together to pursue peace, avoid war and strive to ‘revitalize China’ Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday began a 12-day tour of China with a visit to the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum in Nanjing. He paid tribute to Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙), a founder of the Republic of China, giving a short speech and then bowing in front of the memorial. “The people of both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to the Chinese nation, are children of Yandi (炎帝) and Huangdi (黃帝),” he told reporters who had been allowed to follow him on the trip, referring to figures said to have founded of the Han ethnicity in ancient China. Ma has framed the trip as