The National Fire Agency (NFA) should set an end date for the use of crystalline-free silica in fire extinguishers, New Power Party Chairwoman Chen Jiau-hua (陳椒華) said on Thursday.
The agency has no regulations in place to control the use of the substance and verify safety data sheets submitted by manufacturers, Chen told a news conference that she held jointly with the Fire Extinguisher Manufacturing and Agent Recharging Industry Union and the Taiwan Water Resource Conservation Union.
Fire extinguisher union president Liao Wei-jen (廖偉任) said that phasing out the substance would pose no great challenge to manufacturers, as only four out of 15 companies produce fire extinguishers using crystalline-free silica.
Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times
Liao urged the agency to draw up regulations that ban the use of the substance to safeguard the health of manufacturers and firefighters.
Extinguishers using certified agents cost three times as much as those with non-certified agents, and phasing out the substance would improve the price-to-value ratio of fire extinguishers, Liao said.
NFA official Shen Yi-che (沈義哲) said that the agency on Oct. 12 sent a formal letter to authorities to step up verification of safety data sheets.
The US, Europe and Japan do not ban the use of crystalline-free silica in fire extinguishers, and Taiwan seeks to maintain the same standards as the global community, Shen said.
Chen said that the Environmental Protection Administration’s (EPA) certification standards demand that fire extinguisher agents should not contain substances that are highly toxic, have long-term effects on aquatic animals or are listed in the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals.
However, some manufacturers have not provided data on the toxicity and ecological impact of their products, she said, adding that the EPA’s review procedure was flawed.
Liao said that third-party testing providers might have intentionally delivered false results.
EPA official Wu Ling-chu (吳鈴筑) said that manufacturers did not have to prove that their products did not contain crystalline-free silica.
However, all EPA tests of fire extinguishers for the substance have shown negative results, Wu said, adding that between June and August, three companies had been inspected.
Chen said that all dry-powder extinguishers should undergo inspection, and manufacturers should deliver new data to the EPA and the Fire Extinguisher Union to verify that their products fulfill certification standards.
Liya Chu (朱如茵), whose parents are New York-based Taiwanese restaurateurs, has been crowned the champion of US television cooking competition MasterChef Junior, after wowing the judges, including celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, with a feast of fusion cuisine. In the finale of the show’s eighth season, broadcast on Thursday, Chu walked away with US$100,000 after serving a spread of spiced duck breast with scallion pancakes and miso eggplant, followed by coconut pandan panna cotta with a passion fruit coulis and sesame tuille. Chu, who was 10 years old at the time of filming three years ago, faced off against then-11-year-old Grayson Price from
A university student has gained the spotlight for an interactive map he designed detailing all of China’s military bases and installations throughout the Indo-Pacific region. Soochow University music student Joseph Wen (溫約瑟), who calls himself an amateur military enthusiast, said he created the map to “help people better understand the cross-strait situation.” Wen originally posted the map online on June 14 last year, but it gained greater attention after he mentioned it during an appearance on a China Television talk show. On the show, Wen said he had gathered information on the locations from publicly available Web sites, as
RISK FACTORS: ‘We hope people can cooperate and endure it ... it is possibly the very important last mile,’ Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung said Taiwan’s COVID-19 restrictions and mask regulations are to remain the same next month, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. The center reported 42,112 new local COVID-19 cases and 85 deaths, saying that the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has dropped to a new low this month. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, said that the center is keeping COVID-19 restrictions and mask regulations the same due to the local virus situation, and an increase in the number of imported cases of the new Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 of SARS-CoV-2, among other risk factors. Easing
GLOBAL STRATEGY: Indo-Pacific alliances need reinforcement to prevent Chinese occupation of Taiwan, which would threaten Japan, Hawaii and Australia, Pompeo said The US should officially recognize Taiwan as a free, independent nation and establish official diplomatic ties, former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo told an event at the Hudson Institute in Washington on Friday. Every US president since Harry Truman has considered Taiwan’s existence to be of utmost importance to US national security, Pompeo said. Taiwan is a principal US partner in technology and economic matters, and if China were to capture Taiwan’s semiconductor supply chain, it would severely hamper the US economy, Pompeo said. Should China occupy Taiwan, it would severely weaken US influence in the Indo-Pacific region and its surrounding areas,