Air quality mostly poor Thursday, expected to improve Friday

Taipei--The air quality was generally poor Thursday, with only eastern, northeastern Taiwan and the offshore county of Penghu seeing moderate to good air quality, according to the Environmental Protection Administration's Taiwan Air Quality Monitoring Network.

For Friday, northern Taiwan, including Hsinchu and Miaoli Counties, as well as Yilan are expected to see moderate air quality (yellow) while Hualien and Taitung Counties in eastern Taiwan will continue to enjoy good quality air (green), according to the network (http://taqm.epa.gov.tw/taqm/en/AqiMap.aspx).

The air quality in Kaohsiung City and neighboring Pingtung County flashed red Thursday, indicating the air in most parts of the two areas is unhealthy to the general public.

The rest of western Taiwan, from Keelung in the north to Tainan in the south, and offshore Kinmen and Matsu Islands were seeing orange-coded air quality Thursday, meaning the air is unhealthy for sensitive groups.

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