AFTER all the hoo-ha in Beijing, it’s not surprising the Taiwan government is stepping up checks on its air quality.
Yesterday, news channel Focus Taiwan said that the states Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) on Wednesday began posting reports on the level of fine particles in the air.
The reports are compiled with the use of data collected at 30 monitoring stations around Taiwan and are being updated regularly on the EPA’s website, said Chu Yu-chi, head of the EPA Department of Environmental Monitoring and Information Management.
Focus Taiwan said that high levels of particles of that size, known as PM2.5, are considered a health risk as they may enter the human respiratory system and lead to chronic disease, according to domestic and foreign research.
Such particles are produced by vehicles and industrial facilities like power and petrochemical plants.
With the new data, the authorities “will not only monitor the safety of the air quality in the country, but also advise the public to take protective measures if the concentration of PM2.5 reaches hazardous levels,” Chu said.
Last May, the EPA adopted PM2.5 standards of 35 micrograms per cubic meter as the maximum daily average, and 15 mg/cubic meter as the maximum yearly average, in line with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s standards.
The World Health Organization’s guidelines set the maximum daily PM2.5 average at 25 mg/cubic meter, and the annual average at 10 mg/cubic meter.