Air quality good in east, poor in southern half of western Taiwan

Taipei--The eastern half of Taiwan and most of the Taipei area enjoyed good air quality Friday but it was a different story almost all across the central and southern parts of western Taiwan, according to the Environmental Protection Administration's Taiwan Air Quality Monitoring Network.

As of 11 a.m., most of the monitoring stations from Taichung City in central Taiwan to Pingtung County in the south flashed red, indicating the air in those areas was unhealthy for the general public, according to the network (http://taqm.epa.gov.tw/taqm/en/).

The southern tip of Pingtung County was the only area south of Taichung where people could enjoy good quality air.

In areas north of Taichung and in the offshore counties, the air quality was moderate to good.

For Saturday, eastern Taiwan counties of Yilan, Hualien and Taitung could continue to have good quality air while people living in Pingtung and neighboring Kaohsiung would expect more of the same -- air quality that is unhealthy for the general public, according to the network's forecast.

In central Taiwan and counties directly to its south (Changhua, Yunlin and Chiayi), the air quality is expected to be unhealthy for the sensitive groups such as young children, the elderly and people with a chronic disease, the forecast said.

The EPA's six-color scale takes into account ozone, PM2.5 and PM10 particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitric oxide concentrations in the air.

Green represents "good" air quality, with a pollutant reading of less than 50; yellow indicates "moderate" at 50-100; orange means "unhealthy for sensitive groups" with a reading of 101-150; red indicates "unhealthy" with a range of 151-200; purple signifies "very unhealthy" with a level of 201-300; maroon represents "hazardous" with a reading of 301-500.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel