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Air quality shows improvement as sky is clear enough to spot Taiwan's highest peak: Taichung Mayor

Country's largest manufacturing hub sees fewer days of recorded poor air quality

Picture shows the Main Peak and North Peak of Yushan. (Screenshot image of Lu Shiow-yen FB page photo)

Picture shows the Main Peak and North Peak of Yushan. (Screenshot image of Lu Shiow-yen FB page photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taichung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) posted a picture on Monday (July 4) taken from downtown that is said to be proof of improving air quality in Taichung, which has a reputation as one of the country's most polluted cities.

Lu posted the photo on her Facebook page and it went viral. In the picture of Taichung's skyline, the Main Peak and the North Peak of Yushan, the highest mountain in Taiwan, are visible.

Lu cited it, along with air quality data, as proof of improving air quality.

"The average value of PM2.5 was 14.1 micrograms per cubic meter, µg/m3, for the first half of 2022, which not only fell below the average of 20.0 µg/m3 last year but also the national average today," she explained.

"The days with Air Quality Index values exceeding 100 totaled six for the first half of 2022, but there were 17 days recorded for the same period the year before."

The statistics bureau data shows that Taichung is Taiwan's largest manufacturing hub, which is home to 19,001 factories, one-fifth of the country's total. The city is also the main exporter of metal, machinery, and plastic products, which are known to emit hazardous air pollutants.

In 2019, a scientist said some areas in the city were found to contain unacceptable levels of PM2.5 and eight first-level airborne carcinogens. To reverse the trend, the city government has initiated various mitigation strategies since 2019 to tackle the issue, from promoting energy transition to rigid emission quotas.