Air pollution levels in Taiwan - grim reading


[quote=“nonredneck”][quote=“saisai”][quote=“nonredneck”][quote=“saisai”]Cool link.

Crap…there goes the weekend. I guess my poor, neglected bicycle is staying in the basement yet again . I’ve almost forgotten what it feels like to exercise outdoors.[/quote]

you could always buy a p95 mask. but they are expensive here.[/quote]

Yes, I have some, and they seem to work very well. But it’s not really much fun cycling when wearing one, especially if you’re going for it.[/quote]

Are you using the one with the ventilation or without? I’ve seen two models, one a normal mask and one with a ventilation slot. Ventilation is OK in cold weather, but sucks in hot weather,[/quote]

Thanks for the info. I’m using non-ventilation ones - they work fine, but they’re still pretty uncomfortable if you’re riding (and breathing) fast. Still, better than nothing…


Yesterday I was amazed to see the lovely hills of Xinbei in the distance from my place in Taipei City. Today…not so much, as they are obscured by a grim brown layer of smog. Back to the new normal!



Is the new? I associate this kind of smog with spring here, and not so much with fall, but maybe I’m misremembering. I expect to see a few lovely stretches of sunshine in the fall - but this fall’s “You’ve got 12 hours before the pollution sets in - enjoy it NOW!” seems new to me.


Yup, that was what I was referring to.



I’ll be honest ,
I don’t remember the pollution being this bad in Taipei. I lived here for about 9 years, left about 4 and moved back again. Do not remember the kind of pollution you can see from the apartment or the street or smell through the window… Do remember that you could see the haze over the city when looking down from the hills in Xindian sometimes.
Would be good to see some numbers to check the real trend. I believe the EPA have been collecting PM2.5 for years but only started displaying it over the last year or two. But there should be data for PM10 and other pollutants.

China has experienced record air pollution in the North in some cities this Autumn. Now this isn’t very surprising when you know that vehicle use is at an all time high and coal powered power stations likewise. Of course a large wedge of pollution is locally sourced in Taiwan but maybe Chinese pollution is pushing things up to the next level now (not including Taichung area, there most of the recent increase is obviously self inflicted). What we’ve been experiencing in Taipei over the last month is Pretty much par for the course in Taichung and Kaoshiung in Autumn and Winter.


Yeah, back when I lived in Tainan, smog often kept me off my bicycle in the autumn and winter. This is the first year I recall the same thing happening so often in Taipei (usually it’s rain here!). I’m also confused about why Danshui seems to be worse than the downtown area - isn’t it usually the opposite?


Yeah, back when I lived in Tainan, smog often kept me off my bicycle in the autumn and winter. This is the first year I recall the same thing happening so often in Taipei (usually it’s rain here!). I’m also confused about why Danshui seems to be worse than the downtown area - isn’t it usually the opposite?[/quote]

I have to agree that this year’s pollution (in Taipei) has been worse than last year. With cycling, I’ve never experienced light headedness and dizziness like 2 weeks ago when I cycled up from Jinshan to Leng Shui Keng. Whenever we were making it to the top of the mtn last year, it just got foggy and wet. I now tell myself that it’s fog, but who am I kidding?

Coming up from Jinshan via the Yang Jing Highway (陽金公路) and up towards Leng Shui Keng, that last little triple hill, I can feel a little bit of me dying inside with how much of that nasty air I’m breathing in.


First air pollution protest against Taichungs expansion of the central science park. Over 1000 people in the protest. Not a lot but it’s a start. The first picture was taken on the same street I used to live on when I started this thread! Interestingly the pollution I could observe with my eyes I often felt came from over the hill from the coal power station on the coast, but we could often smell the ammonia or chemical emissions from the plants, particularly at night.


Incredibly low PM2.5 levels (for Taiwan!) all over the island today. is a sea of green all down the west coast. Breathe deeply, everyone. Even Zhanghua is only 50.


Must be because of the heavy rain over the last few days in China and Taiwan, washed all the crap away!


160 in North Taiwan today. Smells slightly sooty, smell of China!


It was bad starting yesterday afternoon.

When I left work at 5:30PM it was disgusting. The next intersection, only 50-70m ahead, was oh so smoggy :thumbsdown:

I think it got a little better later in the evening, but still not too great.


The numbers seem same or worse today. A lot of people wearing useless surgical masks.


I am so glad I will be out of here soon.


Levels were at 152 on Yang Ming Shan when I checked during my lunch break. That’s when you know it’s bad!


That’s great, but you kind of sound like an asshole after getting an education here and then just contributing this one line in this thread. If it’s so bad what are you waiting for?


There is this list of “what you should do” being passed around on FB -usually by some doctor or medical institution. Wearing a mask is number one on the list, but few specify which kind is useful and which is not -or people skip that part.

Others include sensible advice such as to take public transportation to diminish the amount of pollution in the air, don’t exercise or over exert yourself outdoors, try not to burn stuff, fry stuff, smoke or such activities, pregnant,or elderly or children better not go out, etc. Others like eat pears and apples and such make me puzzled. Oh, and don’t leave the wash outdoors to dry.





What makes them useless? I am not sure about this as I’ve only seen news recently about the fake masks being sold in China.

It is definitely dark out now. All afternoon it has seemed like dusk is settling in.


Particles just go right through the pores or through the gaps on the side of the mask. Those masks are to prevent infection. they might help a very small amount with bigger dust particles that’s about it.


It got worse here as the afternoon wore on. As dusk started to fall, the mountains were just a hazed shade of grey and fogged out. Hardly any distance at all away.
I don’t see that mask wearing would do much good, either. Just best to stay indoors as much as poss, and avoid exercise.

Large street demonstrations in major urban areas, a mass revolt of the people against the theft of our fresh air, might be more effective :thumbsup:.