South, Central Taiwan air is health threat: Yunlin
The China Post news staffTAIPEI, Taiwan --The air quality of South and Central Taiwan is a significant health threat, said the Yunlin County's Environmental Protection Bureau (環保局) yesterday.
January 25, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
Yesterday the bureau held a panel on local environmental affairs, an annual event where it released its 2012 airshed management report.
In Yunlin County, the 24-hour mean value of suspended particulate matter in ambient air reached 84.17 micrograms per cubic meter, which is 2.5 times the safety standard, according to the bureau.
Mean airborne particulate matter in Chiayi City and Kaohsiung City were even higher at 102.67 micrograms and 90.67 micrograms per cubic meter, respectively.
Airborne particulate matter in Taichung City, Changhua County, Nantou County, Chiayi County and Tainan City was roughly 80 micrograms per cubic meter, slightly above the acceptable level.
The poor air quality of South and Central Taiwan is related to the region's terrain and airflow conditions, according to local experts.
Local fertilizer use and disposal of fisheries wastewater can also load air with particulate matter. The 2013 Agri-Expo Yunlin (農業博覽會) is set to showcase organic and environmentally friendly concepts for Taiwan agriculture, said the panel.
The panel comprised scholars and experts from the Changhua Medical Alliance (彰化醫界聯盟), the National Yunlin University of Science and Technology's Department of Safety Health and Environment Engineering (雲林科技大學環安系), the Department of Environmental Engineering at National Chung Hsing University (中興大學環境工程系) and other local institutions.
Some studies suggest that long-term exposure to airborne particulate matter — such as dust, soot and smoke — have an adverse effect on human health, contributing to cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease.
Also yesterday, New Taipei City unveiled an initiative to cut down on carbon emissions: Construction companies may now pay their air regulation fees online instead of at the counter.
Construction companies in New Taipei City pay an air pollution control fee based on project size. On average, companies submit 8,000 fee applications a year, which means that the online platform can eliminate up to 210,000 kilometers of travel and 50 tons of carbon emissions, according to New Taipei's Environmental Protection Bureau.