Air quality mostly poor Tuesday

Taipei--The air quality was generally poor Tuesday, with only the eastern Taiwan counties of Hualien and Taitung and some parts of northern Taiwan having moderate quality air, the Environmental Protection Administration's Taiwan Air Quality Monitoring Network.

The administration cautioned the public against doing strenuous exercise outdoors. Young children, elderly people ant those suffering from cardiovascular or chronic diseases are advised to remain indoors or wear a mask when going out.

The air quality in southern Taiwan -- from Yunlin County to Pingtung County -- and the offshore islands of Kinmen and Matsu was particularly bad, showing in most parts a red light that indicates the air is unhealthy for the general public, according to the monitoring network (http://taqm.epa.gov.tw/taqm/en/AqiMap.aspx).

In most parts of northern, central Taiwan and the northeastern county of Yilan, the air quality flashed orange, meaning it is unhealthy for sensitive groups.

Only the people in Hualien and Taitung had moderate air quality Tuesday.

For Wednesday, the air quality in general is expected to improve somewhat, with Kaohsiung City and neighboring Pingtung County continuing to see air that is unhealthy for the public while the rest of the country is expected to have air quality that is moderate or unhealthy only for sensitive groups.

The EPA's 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