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Manyueyuan the most negative ions-enriched among eight Taiwanese forest parks, research.

Negatively charged ions, which are most prevalent in natural places, have been shown to offer health benefits in several studies, but the volume of negative ions may vary a great deal from place to place.

According to a recent study published by Taiwan's Forestry Bureau, a forest park situated in the mountainous areas of Sanxia District of New Taipei City contains a far higher concentration of negative ions than any other national forest park in the country.

Manyueyuan National Forest Recreation Area , a popular hiking location in northern Taiwan, tops the list for having highest volume of negative ions, with as many as 1,854 negative ions per cubic centimeter detected along its hiking trails, and up to 27,192 negative ions per cubic centimeter detected around the area's waterfalls.

Previous studies around the world show that waterfalls produce high volumes of ions carrying negative charges, which creates a pleasant and healthy atmosphere for hikers.

The tasteless and odorless molecules in the air are known to increase oxygen flow to the brain, accordingly decreasing drowsiness, and stimulating mental energy. Other health benefits, according to different research, include decreasing airborne viruses and bacteria in the air, normalizing breathing rate, decreasing blood pressure, inducing better sleep, and improving one's focus.

Unfortunately, homes and workplaces in urban areas are usually sealed off from the natural negative ions. The concentration of negative ions in the air of modern offices may only be one fourth to one tenth of the amount found in natural places. The bureau said the number of negative ions in urban areas usually reaches 200-300 per cubic centimeter.

However, the volume of negative ions varies a great deal at different natural environments. According to the study released by the Forestry Bureau earlier this week, the team sampled the air at eight different national forest parks, and discovered that Manyueyuan contains the highest density of negative ions at its Virgin Falls area, reaching up to 27,192 negative ions per cubic centimeter.

Neidong National Forest Recreation Area in Wulai District, also in New Taipei City, comes second in the list, with 1,930 negative ions per cubic centimeter detected along its hiking trails and up to 16,748 negative ions found in the vicinity of the Neidong waterfall. The park is temporarily closed after the severe damage left by Typhoon Soudelor in 2015, but it is expected to reopen in July, 2018.

Shuangliu National Forest Recreation Area in Shizi Township of Pingtung County comes third, with 1,615 negative ions detected along its hiking trails, and 9,350 negative ions found near the waterfall.

Other national forest parks sampled in this study include Taipingshan National Forest Recreation Area in Yilan County, Basianshan National Forest Recreation Area in Taichung, Dasyueshan Forest Recreation Area in Taichung, Alishan National Scenic Area in Chiayi County, Jhihben Forest Recreation Area in Taitung, and Aowanda National Forest Recreation Area in Nantou County.

For more information about the national forest parks in Taiwan, please visit Taiwan Forest Recreation, or the Forestry Bureau.

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Publication:Taiwan News (Taipei, Taiwan)
Date:Feb 16, 2018
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