Exposure to PM2.5 Led to over 6,000 Deaths in Taiwan Last Year

Exposure to PM2.5 Led to over 6,000 Deaths in Taiwan Last Year
Photo Credit: Wenbin Qian @ Flickr CC BY SA 2.0
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According to the latest research from the College of Public Health at National Taiwan University (NTU), PM2.5 particles will not only increase risk of pulmonary tuberculosis, but also increase death threats of chronic diseases. It is estimated that over 6,000 people died from the exposure of PM2.5 last year.

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In recent years, there have been record levels of PM2.5 particles in Taiwan. Regions in central and southern Taiwan have often been shrouded in purple hazes. According to the latest research from the College of Public Health at National Taiwan University (NTU), PM2.5 particles will not only increase risk of pulmonary tuberculosis, but also increase death threats of chronic diseases such as ischemic heart disease, stroke, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It is estimated that over 6,000 people died from the exposure of PM2.5 last year.

China Times reports, NTU Institute of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine Associate Professor Lin Hsien-ho says, the College of Public Health of National Taiwan University leads the world in confirming that PM2.5 particles in the air will increase risk of pulmonary tuberculosis.

The NTU team has tracked the health examination data of 100 thousand people for six to seven years. The results show that the incidence of pulmonary tuberculosis is related to the exposure of PM2.5; there was a 39% increased risk of pulmonary tuberculosis for every 10μg/m3 (micrograms per cubic meter) increase in PM2.5. Besides, the pollution caused by the vehicles will also increase its risk. For each 10 ppb (parts per billion) increase of nitrogen dioxide and nitric oxides, the risk will increase 33% and 21% respectively.

CNA reports, Lin says, another result of chronic disease research shows that over 6,000 people died from exposure to PM2.5 in Taiwan last year, including 2,240 ischemic heart disease patients, 2,140 stroke patients, 1,250 lung cancer patients and 645 chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients.

The influence caused by PM2.5 is also significantly different in each region. The number of deaths accounts for 21.8% in Yunlin, 21.7% in Nantou, 21.6% in Kaohsiung, and 8.7% in Hualian. Lin stresses, PM2.5 is the most dangerous factor that causes chronic infectious and non-infectious diseases. Lin thinks that the government should provide relevant measures to deal with the inequality on health.

NOWnews reports, according to the Environmental Protection Administration’s air quality monitoring report in 2014, the annual data of PM2.5 concentration gathered from air quality monitoring stations was 25μg/m3 (micrometers per cubic meter) last year, which was 2.5 times higher than the international standard. The research team suggests the government to establish regulations for each region along with a cross-department cooperation system.

Apple Daily reports, Centers for Disease Control Director-General Kuo Hsu-Sung says, according to NTU’s research, a decrease of 10μg/m3 (micrometers per cubic meter) of PM2.5 will prevent 2,000 to 3,000 pulmonary tuberculosis cases per year.

Translated by Wen-yee Lee
Edited by Olivia Yang

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