The air quality in southern Taiwan is expected to stay poor into Nov. 17, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said Saturday.
The EPA said air quality in the area will fall within the unhealthy range, while southern Taiwan’s Kaohsiung and Pingtung could be the hardest-hit, seeing the PM 2.5 level reach the hazardous level of 8 in the coming days.
The country’s 10-tier PM 2.5 index is defined as air pollution that contains fine particles smaller than 2.5 millimeters in diameter and is linked to several chronic health problems.
In central Taiwan and other parts of southern Taiwan, the PM 2.5 pollution levels could hit 6 and 7, respectively, according to the EPA.
Those areas had been experiencing poor air quality since the previous day, when the PM 2.5 index was reported at high levels due to poor conditions for atmospheric dispersion — meaning little wind — the EPA said.
According to the EPA, level-7 PM 2.5 concentrations exceed 54 micrograms per cubic meter and are considered high, and measurements above level 7 are deemed severe enough to cause tangible discomfort and health problems.
Given the air quality, the elderly and those with chronic lung problems or heart disease should avoid prolonged or strenuous outdoor physical activity, the EPA advised.
People with asthma may also need to use their inhalers more often, the EPA said.