October 17, 2018, 08:39:06 PM


Author Topic: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?  (Read 83057 times)

Offline Pizza

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2014, 07:46:47 AM »
EL34, what kind of surgery did you have? Your symptoms sound very similar to mine.

Offline acousticr

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2014, 07:48:30 AM »
I've considered it. I have moderately severe allergies as it is, and that's been bad enough. I think the thing to seal the deal might be how bad my eyes have felt this spring. I had LASEK last fall, and with the dust in the air, I feel just awful. They said I would have a tendency to drier eyes, but this is actually painful.

That said, with the allergies playing a role in it, I'm not sure what good, if any, moving would do for me. And I'm still within six months of surgery, so it might get better.
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Offline desert_sugi

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2014, 07:50:22 AM »
ok, out of curiosity (and not bragging)- my hometown was a disaster free set-up and there wasn't a big issue with pollution.

Ever since coming to Korea though - the "yellow dust" is driving me crazy.

Here's my question- does the rainy season in Korea help lower the haze caused by the pollution at all? Any tips on not being sick the whole summer? (I was sick the majority of last summer)

Offline Space

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2014, 08:53:09 AM »
I'm in the same boat. This year has been the worst. Been sick since the beginning of March.

I had chronic sinus and ear infections (the Eustachian tubes connects it all together)thanks to the pollution. It got so bad that the year before I got surgery, I had been sick 9 months out of the year...and by sick I mean tinnitus, vertigo, sinus headaches, post nasal drip that affected my digestive system. Was a wreck. Our kid's starting to get some of the same symptoms, so it's one of the reasons why we're getting the heck out.

Yeah, what surgery did you get, EL34? I've been having problems with my eustachian tubes, too?

Offline kiwikimchi

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2014, 09:43:16 AM »
It seems Koreans are aware of it but can't be bothered protecting themselves or have resigned themselves to their environment.

Yesterday (the government warned people to stay inside) our school went on a school picnic to the beach. I didn't realize how bad the dust was yesterday if I did I would have stayed at school. No one wore masks or anything. Teachers kept telling me how beautiful the view was. The grey haze is beautiful???

Coming home yesterday I developed a sore throat and headache. I really love it here but even in the far south in Jeollanamdo the air pollution is bad. Its a common misconception that rural Korea is cleaner. I look out towards Jeju and its just as bad. I have to think about my health over my happiness here as I don't want lung cancer later in life. UGH

Offline Squire

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #25 on: April 17, 2014, 09:50:13 AM »
I've had bloodshot dry eyes recently but I've also had a mild cold so I can't say for sure it's the pollution (though the haze has been very noticeable)

Online Life Improvement

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #26 on: April 17, 2014, 10:07:56 AM »
I can't say for sure it's the pollution

It's probable that's what it is.

SEOUL, April 16 (Yonhap) -- A thick layer of fine dust blanketed South Korea on Wednesday, prompting the capital Seoul to issue this year's first warning against the particles and urge people to stay indoors.

According to the data by the Korea Meteorological Administration, Seoul's atmospheric concentration levels of "particulate matter (PM)-10" pollutants recorded 227 micrograms per cubic meter as of 1 p.m., reaching the "very bad" level.


http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/yonhap-news-agency/140416/s-korea-blanketed-fine-dust-alert-issued

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #27 on: April 17, 2014, 10:14:38 AM »
In an uncommon occurance, three high school soccer matches scheduled for Wednesday in Korea were postponed when air quality levels were deemed unsafe for the student-athletes to play.

http://www.stripes.com/blogs/pacificsports-blog/pacific-sportsblog-1.8947/korea-soccer-scotched-due-to-poor-air-quality-1.278219

Yellow dust has been a problem for decades in Korea, but especially in the past couple of years, PM 2.5 levels have been unusually high. Online almanacs that keep tabs on such things also say that pollen levels will be unusually high as well; cedar tree pollen levels in Japan were six times normal last year.

Offline Space

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #28 on: April 17, 2014, 10:51:51 AM »
In an uncommon occurance, three high school soccer matches scheduled for Wednesday in Korea were postponed when air quality levels were deemed unsafe for the student-athletes to play.

http://www.stripes.com/blogs/pacificsports-blog/pacific-sportsblog-1.8947/korea-soccer-scotched-due-to-poor-air-quality-1.278219

Yellow dust has been a problem for decades in Korea, but especially in the past couple of years, PM 2.5 levels have been unusually high. Online almanacs that keep tabs on such things also say that pollen levels will be unusually high as well; cedar tree pollen levels in Japan were six times normal last year.

Is the PM2.5 confirmed, or is it just assumed due to surrounding countries' monitors? If it is confirmed, then why don't the have the PM 2.5 data available on pollution quality websites for Korea available?

Offline bird212

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #29 on: April 17, 2014, 11:18:17 AM »
It's terrible and I'm  happy not to re new partly because of these issues.  I haven't been sick all winter but came down with a nasty throat this week.  And I live in a small town in Gangwon-do:(
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Offline MayorHaggar

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #30 on: April 17, 2014, 01:32:43 PM »
Hmm I never noticed that aiqcn site doesn't do 2.5 readings. That's scary considering the cities in China with high 2.5 readings have similar PM10 readings as South Korea.

cabraclm your sites don't seem to give PM2.5 readings either. Is there anywhere that does give 2.5 readings? Apparently you can get a small PM2.5 monitoring device (made in South Korea, naturally!) but I guess the government doesn't see the need for giving us any readings. Face-saving culture strikes again?

Offline TheTromboner

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #31 on: April 17, 2014, 02:15:28 PM »
I live in a small town (4,000 people, if that) in rural Gyeongsangbuk-do and it's been so bad that I can just look at the sun some days.  I got really sick about a month ago, and my cough has lingered for nearly the whole month.  Might be why I hocked a more or less black loogie after my bike ride on Tuesday.

Certainly not helped by the farmers I see burning trash all over the place.

Offline Mashley30

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #32 on: April 17, 2014, 03:29:47 PM »
Hmm I never noticed that aiqcn site doesn't do 2.5 readings. That's scary considering the cities in China with high 2.5 readings have similar PM10 readings as South Korea.

cabraclm your sites don't seem to give PM2.5 readings either. Is there anywhere that does give 2.5 readings? Apparently you can get a small PM2.5 monitoring device (made in South Korea, naturally!) but I guess the government doesn't see the need for giving us any readings. Face-saving culture strikes again?

According to this article Korea does not release PM2.5 readings: http://blogs.wsj.com/korearealtime/2014/02/04/seoul-to-crack-down-on-barbeques-and-spas-to-combat-pollution/.

It's nice to see that efforts are being made locally. I would love to see the status of owning a car go down. At my old school, my coworkers would drive to work instead of walking 10 mins!

Offline cabralcm

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #33 on: April 17, 2014, 03:44:00 PM »
@MayorHaggar

I believe the air quality index map (http://aqicn.org/map/), receives its data from Korean instruments (most likely public/government). The other two sites: (http://www.airkorea.or.kr/airkorea/eng/index.htm and http://www.airkorea.or.kr/airkorea/index.htm) are Korean sources.

Mashley30 thank you for that information, that explains absence of PM 2.5 reading for Korea, This is frightening as their PM 10 levels alone show the air is very unhealthy - especially as of late. Its irresponsible. There are cases where people exercise and partake in outdoor activities and think the air is safe because they are only given PM 10 readings and as such the air quality index shows the air is okay to exercise in. All the while, if you incorporate PM 2.5, the air quality index would show the air is considerably unhealthy and is not safe to exercise outside.

Early March I started to cough for 1-2 hours after playing sports or exercising outside. I resorted to buying 3M 8511 masks http://www.amazon.com/3M-8511-Particulate-Sanding-Respirator/dp/B0002YKBV2. It's also useful during my morning commute and cuts down on unpleasant smells too. I can stretch the use over a week and have felt significantly better.

Hope everyone exercises safely and stays healthy.

Offline Mezoti97

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #34 on: April 17, 2014, 04:04:43 PM »
I resorted to buying 3M 8511 masks http://www.amazon.com/3M-8511-Particulate-Sanding-Respirator/dp/B0002YKBV2. It's also useful during my morning commute and cuts down on unpleasant smells too. I can stretch the use over a week and have felt significantly better.

Yeah, one of my foreign co-workers told me recently that he also uses those masks and said that they work well.

Offline EL34

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #35 on: April 17, 2014, 04:16:26 PM »
EL34, what kind of surgery did you have? Your symptoms sound very similar to mine.

I got a septoplasty and turbinate reduction.


Offline damof

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #36 on: April 17, 2014, 07:57:40 PM »
I love living in Seoul, but even I have to admit I'm getting pretty sick of coughing up phlegm every morning lately. 

Offline stevelee0000

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #37 on: April 17, 2014, 08:11:32 PM »
I'm thinking of getting a Respro mask for biking so if anyone has one tell me how it holds up.

Offline Suz-goose

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #38 on: April 18, 2014, 03:56:58 AM »
Yeah I left in March and pollution was definitely a factor in it. That and you know no more public school jobs in my area and the dead endy feel to my job. Now how do I convince the Korean bf to jump ship after me? He is still there and is trying to convince me to come back. As much as I miss him, it's a big wprld out there and the clean air of Scotland is wonderful, so far I have been feeling much better. Still thinking

Offline MayorHaggar

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #39 on: April 18, 2014, 08:08:44 AM »

Certainly not helped by the farmers I see burning trash all over the place.

This is why I don't take anyone seriously when they say Korea cares about the environment. People do this all over the countryside and nobody does anything about it. Doesn't matter if it's super smoggy out or clear, there will be some old person or farmer burning trash that is full of smelly carcinogenic plastics. Even if there were rules about it, the police have zero power and people don't respect them anyway. Korea does a good job of preventing foreigners from swimming in water that comes past their ankles, but does nothing about all the trash burning. The only environmentalism Korea cares about is turning off lights and a/c to save on electricity bill, and then when your back is turned they'll jack up the gas ondol to 40C.