英文 English 
People of central Taiwan left waiting for the government to fight air pollution (2015/07/19)

Residents of central Taiwan have suffered from poor air quality for quite some time, due to both topography and local industry. While the Yunlin county government passed autonomous regulations to prohibit the burning of heavily polluting coals, the legislation is unlikely to withstand a challenge from the central government. People anxious about their health are left to wonder when real changes will be made.

At 7 in the morning, dozens of primary school students gather outside Mailiao’s Kongfang Temple to board buses. Their school is located some 6 kilometers away.

This is Ciaotou Elementary School’s Syucuo branch, which was built by Formosa Plastics. It sits just 900 meters away from Formosa Plastics Group’s Sixth Naptha Cracker factory. The National Health Research Institutes found that students here had at least double the amount of thiodiglycolic acid in their urine when compared to other elementary school students.

The Ministry of Education worried these children faced an increased cancer risk. It sent an emergency notification to teachers and students telling them to evacuate the new campus, which was used for just one year, and relocate back to the main campus.

Upon entering the campus, one notices that all teachers and students wear a mask, in accordance with school regulations.

An EPA website announced today's air quality had reached "extremely dangerous" levels. Many are surprised that the school can be affected by air pollution, despite being located 6 kilometers away from the industrial zone.

The Sixth Naphtha Cracker Facility has transformed Yunlin from an agricultural county to one that is facing major air pollution problems. Among the problems are chemicals, heavy metals, and fine particulate matter, which is an invisible threat to human health.

Chuang Bing-chieh
Chung Hsing University Professor
Particulate matter that is less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter is especially dangerous. It’s one-28th the size of human hair and even smaller than bacteria. Your nose is unable to stop it from entering the alveoli of your lungs. It then dissolves into your circulatory system.

Yeh Guang-peng
Taiwan Healthy Air Alliance Physician
In 1980, Taipei’s lung cancer mortality rate was relatively high but has now fallen. Whether it’s incidence or mortality rates, the opposite seems to be happening in Changhua, Yunlin and Chiayi.

According to simulation models from Chuang Bing-chieh, a professor at National Chung Hsing University, the main culprits for poor air quality are Yunlin’s Sixth Naphtha Cracker facility and a Taichung incinerator.

Voice of Chuang Bing-chieh
Chung Hsing University Professor
When it’s 6, 7 or 8 in the morning, (Yunlin) has high (air pollution) concentrations. Then, slowly from 9, 10, and 11 it blows over to Chiayi. It’s typical for Chiayi to receive a purple air quality warning.

Dr. Yu Shang-ru lives in Chiayi City. Every morning when he wakes up he goes to his roof with a camera to observe Chiayi’s air quality.

Yu Shang-ru
Chiayi PM2.5 Self-Help Association
Today is pretty good because you can see houses far away, such those three buildings. Closer, you can see this row, and over there you can see the street and the characters on those signs. These are some of our observation markers.

Growing up as a child in Chiayi, Yu always felt that the air was good and fresh, but now he feels differently.

Yu Shang-ru
Chiayi PM2.5 Self-Help Association
One day I left home to go to work. I looked out to my right and discovered that I could only see the bottom floors of the department store. To the left, those buildings and that faraway road were hazy. You couldn’t see vehicles on either. At noon, it continued. It became clear that this was not fog but air pollution.

In the Yunlin, Chiayi and Nantou area, the central mountain range acts as a barrier that prevents the dispersion of pollutants. This is said to account for 30 percent of the pollution in Chiayi and Nantou, with the remaining 70 percent being directly attributed to local residents.

Chou Yi-hsiung
Puli Township Chief
Our restaurants, hotels and laundries all use diesel furnaces along with oil. This is one source of pollution. On holidays, there’s heavy traffic on Lake Road and National Freeway No. 6. These transit corridors are another source of pollution.

Additionally, Puli has the highest density of temples in Taiwan. The burning of ghost money and firecrackers are yet more sources of air pollution.

Chen Chao-wei
Puli Nanmen Neighborhood Chief
Some believe it is their duty to burn ghost money. If they don’t, it indicates a lack of respect for the Land God Temple.

On April 18, thousands of residents took to the streets of Puli to protest worsening air pollution. It was the first such demonstration of its kind in Taiwan.

Meanwhile in Chiayi, Yu Shang-ru held the first training camp for those interested in learning more about air pollution.

And Yunlin County Council passed the first autonomous regulation banning the use of bituminous coal and petroleum coke. While the central government overruled the local regulation by citing authority over energy policy, it was an important first step in giving citizens the right to enjoy clean air.
中文 Chinese  








[[中興大學環工系教授 莊秉潔]]

[[台灣健康空氣行動聯盟醫師 葉光芃]]


[[聲音來源:莊秉潔教授 中興大學環工系]]


[[余尚儒醫師 嘉義PM2.5自救會]]


[[余尚儒醫師 嘉義PM2.5自救會]]


[[周義雄鎮長 南投縣埔里鎮]]


[[陳昭維里長 南投埔里南門里]]



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