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Deadly Air Pollution In Taiwan Makes Daily Breathing A Luxury

Taiwan Church News

3327 Edition

November 30 - December 6, 2015

Headline News

Deadly Air Pollution In Taiwan Makes Daily Breathing A Luxury

Reported by Simon Lin from Taichung

Under the umbrella of Taiwan Healthy Air Action Alliance, 41 environmental groups and over a thousand people took to the streets to protest a planned deforestation of the last 53 acres forest on Ta-du Hill of Taichung City on November 28.

With a banner read, "Central Taiwan Science Park(CTSP) Expanded / Enormous Electricity Consumed / Coal Burnt Accelerated / And Fatal Air Pollution Destined", many children also attending their parents' parade with masks crying "I want a healthy grow-up without mask!".

The Self-Help Association of Saving Ta-du Hill and Anti CTSP Expansion expressed, Taichung Power Plant(TPP), together with Formosa Plastics Corp's (FPC) sixth naphtha cracker complex in Yunlin and China Steel Corp. in Kaohsiung, are the three biggest air pollution makers of PM 2.5 in Taiwan. Air quality of Taichung city would be worse than ever before, if Taiwan Semi-conductor Manufacturing Company(TSMC) starts to operate in the coming years, because it means TPP would increase coal-burning with an extra 11%!

Dr. Hsu Cheng-yuan, director of respiration therapy of Taichung Veteran General Hospital, remarked that to his acknowledgement there was an evident increase of the patients with lung adenocarcinoma and asthma recently. According to an US medical statistics, warned Dr. Hsu, when the density of PM2.5 increased 10 micro gram per cubic meter, patients with lung adenocarcinoma will increase 8%, and cardiovascular diseases 6%. Dr. Hsu urged Taiwan society to take seriously about the fatal danger of air pollution.

PM2.5 refers to the very fine micro particulate matter, with diameter smaller than 2.5 micrometer, existent in solid or liquid state and suspended on the Earth's atmosphere. It can be attached with heavy metal and poisonous elements, like dioxin, and penetrates into human respiration system. It is also classified by WHO as the carcinogen, i.e. agent to prompt cancer, whose density over 35 micro gram per cubic meter becomes pernicious to the aged, children and those patients with cardiovascular diseases.

Mr. Lin Su-hon, a Christian student major in political science at Tunghai University, commented that the Christian citizens are responsible to stand up for the ecological surroundings, especially when the nature created by God is polluted or destroyed. As the issue of air pollution is related to the professional affairs in politics, economics and environmental protection, Taiwan church should care for this event and take action from the ideal of justice and peace to witness our faith, said Lin.

As the environmental evaluation report of the 5th phase development project of CTSP, released in February 2015 with a conditional green light to proceed the project, many deadly carcinogen elements were not considered and an appropriate health risk evaluation report which should be based on a total control of pollutants allowed was still in want, the alliance of protesting citizen groups strongly asked Taichung City Mayor Lin Jia-lon to apologize for welcoming TSMC into Taichung and stop the 5th phase development project of CTSP immediately.

Mr. Tsai Zhe-hau, acting as the leader of this environmental march and also the general secretary of Taiwan Ecology Society, remarked that the pursuit of the clean air, clear water and natural soil has become the greatest common divisor in Taiwan society. All political parties should put the health of all Taiwanese as their prime target, said Tsai.

Translated by Peter Wolfe

Submitted by:Taiwan Church Press
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