In the last few days, the air quality in western Taiwan has been extremely bad. Over 70 percent of monitoring stations in Taiwan issued air quality index orange alerts or above on Nov. 8. The Environmental Protection Administration and Office of Disaster Management are currently developing a cell phone air pollution warning system that will alert people within 20 kilometers of a monitoring station, measuring an AQI level of over 200. At the earliest, the system will be implemented at the end of the year.
Air quality in western Taiwan has been abysmal in the past three days. The air quality index hit alert level "red" across western Taiwan on the 8th. While air quality improved north of Taichung on the morning of the 9th, the alert level remained red in the south. To provide more timely air pollution information, the Environmental Protection Administration and Office of Disaster Management are developing an air pollution warning system for phones that could be launched before the end of the year.
When the AQI is over 200, it poses a public health hazard. We hope this kind of (alert system) can remind people to pay attention and take preventive measures. As for when the AQI is under 200, regulations governing the prevention of severe deterioration of air quality already include relevant alert mechanisms.
The government currently sends out cell phone alerts for typhoons, landslides and mudslides, and earthquakes. The new system will send out alerts when the AQI surpasses 200. When the AQI is between 151 and 200, or "red," the PM2.5 level is between 54.5 and 150.4 micrograms per cubic meter. An index level over 200 means a PM2.5 level over 150.5 micrograms per cubic meter. In 2017, the AQI exceeded 200 around 30 times.
It's highly regrettable the 24-hour PM2.5 average has to be over 150.5 (and the AQI over 200), because this is rare in Taiwan. How many people would die if you require, (for example, a 24-hour PM10 average) over 355?
Environmental groups say 200 as a standard for practicality and functionality is on the high side. In response, the EPA says it will carefully evaluate the frequency and timeliness of issuing alerts because it doesn't want to spark a public panic with excessively frequent alerts.