I’ve just been reading through the threads about the air pollution on the island and the current water pollution situation in Kaohsiung. That, combined with going back to old threads about plasticizer in the drinks and all sorts of illegal food contaminants etc etc has made me more certain in my assertion that Taiwan is not a viable option for me for long term residence.
You can be as healthy as you can try to be in areas that are partially under your personal control here (by eating only organic food, or growing it yourself if you have the means, and by exercising regularly and avoiding smoking and alcohol etc etc), but there are things here that we as individuals have absolutely no control over, which have the potential to cause serious long-term damage to our health. Breathing in this foul air for years and years must surely raise your risk for lung/throat cancer in exponential terms, and exposure to all sorts of pollutants and harmful and poisonous chemicals in the water supply (even if you only shower in the tap water and use bottled water for everything else, those chemicals are still absorbed by your skin). The fact that regulatory bodies about such things are so slack and generally don’t enforce anything as long as red envelopes are slipped to them means that we have no idea what kind of chemicals and poisons and carcinogens are entering our bodies here just from the water, never mind the food and drinks…
Don’t get me wrong - I generally think that many things about Taiwan are absolutely wonderful, but the pollution aspect (even though it may well be slowly improving) is something that is becoming increasingly hard to overlook and something which is making me worry a lot in terms of my future health.
What do you guys think? Is living in Taiwan for a long period of time going to set you up for losing odds in the lottery of developing all sorts of awful medical ailments when you get older, despite all attempts on your part to stay healthy?