The air quality in some parts of Taiwan has reached “unhealthy” levels due to relatively high concentrations of particulate matter brought in by a continental cold air mass, a government air quality monitoring website indicated Saturday.
The Environmental Protection Administration’s Taiwan Air Quality Monitoring Network site reported that due to the migration of transboundary pollution, the concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5 in the air over Taiwan were relatively high.
Particulate matter (PM), also known as particulates, is mainly divided into bigger PM10 particles of up to 10 micrometers in size and smaller PM2.5 particles, which are about 100 times thinner than a human hair.
The smaller particles are considered particularly harmful to human health because they can travel deeper into one’s lungs and are often more toxic than larger particles.
The air quality in areas around the main island of Taiwan and its offshore islands was graded “ordinary” based on monitoring data of PM10 for Jan. 4-6.
But the pollutant standards index (PSI), based on the concentration of several particles in the air, reached a red (unhealthy air quality) level in Taipei and on the outlying Kinmen and Matsu islands on Saturday morning.
According to the EPA’s forecast for air quality, PM2.5 levels for most of Taiwan, from Taipei in the north to Tainan in the south, were expected to reach 80 micrograms per cubic meter on Saturday, a level considered unhealthy based on Japan’s national air quality standards for PM2.5 particles.
The PM2.5 concentration level in Kinmen was forecast to reach 95-115 micrograms per cubic meter per hour.
Meanwhile, the EPA urged elderly people, children and people who suffer from allergies and cardiovascular diseases to stay indoors when possible.