Chinese air pollution to blow into Taiwan on Friday
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is predicting orange Air Quality Index (AQI) warnings across much of the country as air pollution drifts down from China on Friday (Oct. 23) and Saturday, resulting in unhealthy air quality.
The first wave of smog from China is expected to affect Taiwan on Friday, according to the EPA. On Oct. 20, dust storms appeared over Inner Mongolia and the Hetao region of China, while smog began to accumulate in Beijing. The EPA predicts that northeast winds will strengthen on Friday morning, blowing the dust and smog southward, affecting northern, central, and southern regions of Taiwan, and triggering orange warnings in those areas.
The EPA said that according to AQI forecast data, the pollution will hit northern Taiwan first, while central and southern regions will begin to flash orange warnings by the afternoon. The degree of impact may vary depending on the accumulation of pollutants and rainfall.
Strong winds could also bring dust to Taiwan's coastal areas. The EPA predicts that air quality will gradually start to improve on Oct. 24.
On Oct. 20, the highest hourly concentration of suspended particles on the order of 10 micrometers or less (PM10) in the air was 789 micrograms (one-millionth of a gram) per cubic meter air or µg/m3 in Inner Mongolia. In Beijing and Shanghai, the concentration of fine inhalable particles, with diameters that are 2.5 micrometers and smaller (PM2.5) in the air ranged between PM2.5 186 and 103 µg/m3.
The EPA predicts that on Friday, Taiwan will see a PM10 level of 150 µg/m3, while the PM2.5 concentrations will reach 50 µg/m3. As Taiwan's air quality may be affected by pollution from abroad, the EPA reminds the public to pay attention to prevention, with sensitive groups, elderly, children advised to reduce physical exertion and outdoor activities, and wear masks when necessary.
Air quality predictions for Oct. 22 to 24. (Taiwan EPA image)