Air quality mixed across Taiwan

Taipei--The eastern Taiwan counties of Hualien and Taitung and the offshore islands of Matsu enjoyed good air quality Monday while many parts of western Taiwan had orange to red-coded air quality, indicating the air was unhealthy for sensitive groups or the general public, respectively, according to the Environmental Protection Administration's Taiwan Air Quality Monitoring Network.

As of 11 a.m., the monitoring stations in some parts of Changhua and Yunlin Counties flashed red, meaning the air quality was unhealthy for the general public.

In Chiayi County and Tainan City in the south, parts of Nantou County and Taichung City in central Taiwan and parts of Hsinchu County and New Taipei City in the north, the air quality was orange, indicating it was unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as young children, the elderly and people with a chronic disease.

In Miaoli and Yilan Counties, the offshore counties of Kinmen and Penghu and most of Pingtung County in the south, the air quality was moderate. The only part of Taiwan where people could enjoy good air quality was Hualien and Taitung Counties in the east.

For Thursday, the two eastern counties could continue to have good air quality while cities and counties from central to southern Taiwan are expected to have air quality that is unhealthy for sensitive groups.

Northern Taiwan, including Hsinchu and Miaoli Counties, will have moderate air quality, according to the network's forecast. (http://taqm.epa.gov.tw/taqm/en/AqiForecast.aspx)

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