Air pollution levels in Taiwan - grim reading


I'm in China and Taipei was a little 'oxygen holiday' for me. Since I returned, I've developed a cough, sore eyes and congested nose. It's been worse here, but the dry cold makes it seem worse.

Is there any point wearing a facemask? I avoid them because trapping the breathed out air next to my face seems kind of unpleasant and unsanitary. I also hate being a neurotic FNG, if I can help it: Lord knows, my uni has enough of them. I love living in China, but the air is a pretty big turd in the punchbowl.

Where I live (tuhao fuckhead centrale), the fashion is ... LANDROVERS. Yes. While I understand that it's COOL to have a rhino-proof military vehicle that you couldn't parallel park if your hair was on fire, it's slight overkill in completely flat suburban east China. The authorities are trying: there's a bike system like the Youbikes, but noone ever uses it, they're building an underground system, the buses are lovely and very convenient. No-one cares because cars are COOL, especially if you can get TINTED WINDOWS and a super loud beepy HORN that you can beep at sucker pedestrians to show you aren't a steaming great peasant any more. Ahem.


What'r shock after being in the pristine high country for the hollow days. I feel like my lungs are the lint trap in a clothes dryer. Joe Minga!


A little bit off-topic compared to the original title, but still related to air pollution, so I post here:

How to explain the difference between TAQM and AQICN?

TAQM Taiwan Environent Protection Agency Air Quality Monitoring
AQICN Air Quality Index for China and Asia

Right now... for my place...
Taiwan EPA says: PM 2.5 = 77 moderate
And AQICM says: PM 2.5 = 162 unhealthy


Come on's covered just one page back!


Ooops, you are right. I've found it and read it. Thank you




Interestingly the Chinese , and that includes the government in parts, are similarly in denial with regards air pollution emitted from motor vehicles.

Air pollution has significantly worsened in large urban areas of China over the last few years.

And you can see from this chart the likely's difficult to prove however as they are not transparent with research or pollution statistics.

Imagine if all those petrol engines were emitting obvious black smoke, would people have a different impression of where the pollution comes from if they could see it.

Or if they just attached the engines to sides of buildings or the street and let them run day and night.

Or if you collected millions of engines and put them in one square in the middle of the city, and ran them all at the same time.

It would be an interesting experiment to see people's reactions.


It's 6 PM now. And most of the people are coughing and constantly clearing throat in the office... near Taichung harbor.
It says 'unhealthy' PM 2.5 = 107. Better than yesterday but still a bit scary.


yup... its definitely part of the issue. cars are thought of as a necessary thing here regardless of whether you need them or not. it is going to take a long time to change this opinion. it is even thought of as necessary to own a car when living in a city that already has good public transport. this is incredibly backwards.


I've worked with Taiwanese business people and in Taiwanese companies so I get 'the car' thing.

It's not a need so much as to do with status and many men need a car for advancement in life, sad but true

  • to get a gf
  • to get a wife and family permission to marry
  • to look prosperous
  • to look managerial material and to demonstrate superiority by offering lifts to colleagues
  • to cart potential customers around
  • to demonstrate wealth and success to potential customers
  • to compete with peer

These are the societal reasons to have a car, beyond the simple need to get from A to Z or to cart the kids around or to get out of the city.

Cars and face go hand in hand , and face is still extremely important in these societies ,so that is why it is so difficult to break the habit for Chinese and Taiwanese.


I swear, the concept of "face" causes too many problems. So much for 5000 years of culture.

But the concept exists everywhere to some extent, and probably has some positive effect on society too. :ponder:


The amount of complaining that's done on these forums is pretty pathetic. If you think Taiwan is so terrible than either go somewhere else or change your way of thinking. It sounds so tacky and sad to always be complaining like your home country is any better.


You be speaking French la, we speakee the queens English here.


So I noticed a massive uptick in people commenting online about air pollution in Taichung, and not just in English but Chinese! So either the air pollution has gotten worse or health concerns have grown, but it’s a positive development, people are realizing this is largely a ‘made in Taiwan’ problem.


Same here. With the rise in more bad PM2.5 days of recent years, it seems to have prompted more talk about pollution from citizens here. But unfortunately, as good as it may be it is a minority. Just seeing the amount of people riding around on old busted up smokescreen 2-strokes and all other matter of polluting vehicles on the roads makes me wonder if the masses will ever see and understand that they are part of the problem. It’s just the tip of the iceberg I know, but unless someone in power at the government decides to commit political suicide I don’t know if change will come fast enough.


Taichung up to 160 pm2.5 . Very bad for health! Foreigners are sitting up and taking notice,
To be honest it’s hard to not notice these days. … 203985510/


[quote=“headhonchoII”]Taichung up to 160 pm2.5 . Very bad for health! Foreigners are sitting up and taking notice,
To be honest it’s hard to not notice these days. … 203985510/[/quote]

Ha, I’m in there.


Not that I’m defending Taiwan’s shitty air quality but it seems like a bad day for everyone.


Darn Asia is filthy, from South to North. People in Taipei are just a bit luckier since it rains so much in the winter. Taichung sure has it bad though, pity as the great dry climate is what helps cause the pollution to be so severe.


I long for the pollution levels of Taiwan. Malaysia is enveloped in haze from Indonesia. We have a newborn and so literally stay indoors. For the past 1.5 months. Rain barely makes a dent and the wind just bring more smoke.

It’s not supposed to improve until early next year. Imagine one of the sandstorms that his Taiwan lasting 3 months.