By: Wu Hsin-yun and Elizabeth Hsu
Taipei, April 3 (CNA) Concentrations of fine particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5) were at “high” and “very high” levels in western areas of Taiwan Sunday, with PM2.5 indexes there reaching between 7-10. An index of 10 indicates the highest and the most hazardous — PM2.5 concentration.
According to data from the air quality monitoring network operated by the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) that was updated at 8 a.m. Sunday, the PM2.5 concentrations detected at monitoring stations in Miaoli County and Xianxi Township of Changhua County were so high as to reach more than 71 micrograms (µg) per cubic meter.
This indicates a PM2.5 index level of 10 in those areas, the data shows. It also indicates that the PM2.5 concentrations in Hukou, Hsinchu County, Taichung’s Shalu, Lunbei and Taixi in Yunlin County, and Annan in Tainan, all surpassed 65 µg/cubic meter to register an index of 9.
Under Taiwan’s 10-tier PM2.5 index, with level 10 (71 µg/cubic meter or above) at the highest, measurements above level 7 (54-58µg/cubic meter) are deemed severe enough to cause tangible discomfort and health problems.
The EPA advised residents in the affected areas, especially those with allergies, to avoid prolonged or strenuous outdoor physical activity. [FULL STORY]