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In recent years, almost all of Taiwan has been shrouded in PM2.5. On December 6, the medical community and environmental groups in Changhua requested the government to address the connection between air pollution and cancer, asking authorities to develop related policies and calling on the people to participate in the demonstration against air pollution on December 26.

China Times reports, Cai Zhi-hung, director of Changhua Medical Alliance for Public Affairs, points out that although the smoking population has continued to decline in recent years, the percentage of lung cancer cases has been rising.

It has also been confirmed that the PM2.5 content in the air can reach deep inside the lungs and result in adenocarcinoma of the lung.

Liberty Times reports, Li Wu-po, supervisor of Changhua medical Alliance for Public Affairs, says that according to latest statistics issued by the Health Promotion Administration, lung cancer has been the top cause of death for five consecutive years and 9,167 people nationwide died of lung cancer last year. He notes that the population growth rate in Taiwan within these 30 years accounts for 28%, but the growth rate of lung cancer has gone up to 131%.

Li analyzes in the last decade, the top four counties with the highest average number of lung cancer cases are Yilan County, New Taipei City, Chiayi County and Keelung City, among which Yilan has always considered to have the freshest air. The high growth rate of lung cancer among females happens mostly in metropolitan areas, among which New Taipei City is the most serious and is followed by Taipei City.

Li says that the air pollution in Yilan, New Taipei City and Keelung might have to do with the diesel vehicles or transportation, while the air pollution in Chiayi County may be associated its location on the leeward side of the Sixth Naphtha Cracking Plant (a factory of Formosa Plastic Group).

Females suffering from lung cancer mostly reside in metropolitan areas, which might be related to household air pollution produced by cooking in high-density residential sectors.

“The Sixth Naphtha Cracking Plant and the coal-fired Taichung Power Plant emit large quantities of sulfur oxides, accounting for 70% of the air pollution in central Taiwan. Physician Ye Yi-zhe says that after the Tunghsiao Power Plant started using gas-fired electricity; the sulfur oxides decreased from 20,000 tons per year in 1997 to 7.8 tons per year in 2010, reducing by 99% and is a solution that can lead us closer to the world standards regarding air pollution.

Translated by June
Edited by Olivia Yang