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Author Topic: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?  (Read 97140 times)

Offline weigookin74

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #100 on: January 19, 2015, 11:06:29 PM »
Folks talking of PM 2.5, I pulled this off wikipedia.  "In Canada the standard for particulate matter is set nationally by the federal-provincial Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME). Jurisdictions (provinces) may set more stringent standards. The CCME standard for particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5) is 30 μg/m3 (daily average, i.e. 24-hour period, 3 year average, 98th percentile)."

I think many places in Korea average around 30 or just a bit higher.  This is according to the following site.  http://www.airkorea.or.kr/index

Offline weigookin74

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #101 on: January 26, 2015, 04:23:22 PM »
But, yes, the air and skies are not as clear as back home.  Much of the year is gloomy because of fog, smog, humidity, etc.  Lots of grey and white sky, even on days where you see the sun.  One thing I really noticed and spent a few days staring at when I visited home a year or so ago was the blue skies and white puffy clouds everywhere.  Sweet Enola Gay son!  It was goshdarndest thing I ever did saw! 

Anyways, you'll either get use to the gloominess here or pack it in and go back home.  I miss those Maritime beaches and the sun shone most of the year, even in very very cold snow covered winter.  Just wish the economy wasn't resembling that of a devoloping country.

Offline coughsod

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #102 on: January 26, 2015, 04:53:59 PM »
Folks talking of PM 2.5, I pulled this off wikipedia.  "In Canada the standard for particulate matter is set nationally by the federal-provincial Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME). Jurisdictions (provinces) may set more stringent standards. The CCME standard for particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5) is 30 μg/m3 (daily average, i.e. 24-hour period, 3 year average, 98th percentile)."

I think many places in Korea average around 30 or just a bit higher.  This is according to the following site.  http://www.airkorea.or.kr/index

that's the PM10 rating, not PM2.5. this site is much clearer:

http://aqicn.org/city/korea/seoul/gangnam-gu/

checking daily in the past few weeks, i can say the recent average has been around 60 to 80. worst i've seen is 150, best i've seen (once) was somewhere in the 20s (!!). you could really breathe the difference that day, it was gorgeous. i've also seen it below 50 on at least two other occasions.

Offline Paul

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #103 on: January 27, 2015, 08:16:30 AM »
http://aqicn.org/city/korea/seoul/gangnam-gu/

checking daily in the past few weeks, i can say the recent average has been around 60 to 80. worst i've seen is 150, best i've seen (once) was somewhere in the 20s (!!). you could really breathe the difference that day, it was gorgeous. i've also seen it below 50 on at least two other occasions.

Thanks for that link. I've always suspected my ward of Seoul was particularly bad, but that just confirms it. Perpetually over 100 during daylight hours out here. I can most certainly breathe the difference just going down the train line.
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Offline Periwinkle

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Pollution blues
« Reply #104 on: October 14, 2016, 11:39:00 AM »
Greetings,

 I've recently moved to a medium-sized city in Korea and am experiencing all of the symptoms that can be attributable to air pollution.  The air pollution forecast in this city has been moderate -unhealthy everyday for the past few weeks. In addition, the air has a slight haziness to it everyday and the air pollution at times can even be seen blocking the sun.  It is a rare moment when I am sick (even from a simple cold)and have never experienced these types of symptoms or been sick while living in the country side.  It is the first time that I've lived in a city not classified as rural during all of my years in Korea.  I've felt terrible from the first day of school but regardless of all this, I have not called in sick and continue struggle in to work everyday feeling lackluster but continuing to put on a brave face. Yes, doctor did prescribe antibiotics and so on  (which did not work) and I have even tried home remedies with no success (visited doctor for a second time which helped confirm suspicions about air pollution.)  The unfortunate part is that I really love my new home but it is coming at a cost and that is my health. There are quite a few months left in my contract and I've held out hope that it would get better but it's been over 5 weeks now.
I am now realizing that pollution is a serious problem in Korea after breathing in the fresh countryside air for so long and taking it for granted.

Has anyone else dealt with a similar situation especially after transferring from countryside to city?  How did you cope? Constructive advice would appreciated.

Offline kobayashi

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Offline fishead

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Re: Pollution blues
« Reply #106 on: October 14, 2016, 11:43:47 AM »
 Consider yourself lucky you don't live in China. Sometimes the smog was so thick the apartments a few blocks away were submerged in a cloud of toxic waste, as you passed a mother allowing her toddlet to dump a turd on the sidewalk, five metres from a shop selling open air meat covered in flies,
 as an idiot on an e-bike comes dangerously close to flattening you.

Offline Life Improvement

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Re: Pollution blues
« Reply #107 on: October 14, 2016, 11:47:11 AM »
Check sites like this:

http://aqicn.org/city/iksan/

...and on days readings are higher than normal avoid being outside for too long.


Offline gideonvasquez

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Re: Pollution blues
« Reply #108 on: October 14, 2016, 11:52:20 AM »
Check sites like this:

http://aqicn.org/city/iksan/

...and on days readings are higher than normal avoid being outside for too long.
Adding on to this, people that have a history of asthma or sensitivity to pollution should also look into using protective gear on moderate (yellow) days as well.

Offline Periwinkle

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Re: Pollution blues
« Reply #109 on: October 14, 2016, 11:59:41 AM »
Check sites like this:

http://aqicn.org/city/iksan/

...and on days readings are higher than normal avoid being outside for too long.

Thanks but this is the same site I've been checking every day to know that the air has been moderate-unhealthy. It has been no problem to avoid outdoors at most times since discovering pollution intolerance.

Offline Periwinkle

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Re: Pollution blues
« Reply #110 on: October 14, 2016, 12:02:44 PM »
Check sites like this:

http://aqicn.org/city/iksan/

...and on days readings are higher than normal avoid being outside for too long.
Adding on to this, people that have a history of asthma or sensitivity to pollution should also look into using protective gear on moderate (yellow) days as well.

Absolutely.  Never knew that I had a sensitivity to pollution because I was never exposed to it for extended periods. Will definitely invest in protective gear.

Offline Periwinkle

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Re: Pollution blues
« Reply #111 on: October 14, 2016, 12:03:32 PM »

Offline Life Improvement

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Re: Pollution blues
« Reply #112 on: October 14, 2016, 12:07:46 PM »
Moderate-unhealthy may be bad for you. People's bodies may vary in what they are able to tolerate.

The reading in New York City is 4. http://aqicn.org/city/newyork/

In Seoul it's 114. http://aqicn.org/city/seoul/ That's 28.5 times as high.

In Asia, take more steps like wearing a mask and buying air filters I guess to mitigate the effects. Posters above gave some good advice. Let us know how it works for you.


Offline kobayashi

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Re: Pollution blues
« Reply #113 on: October 14, 2016, 12:15:08 PM »
1.) http://item2.gmarket.co.kr/English/detailview/item.aspx?goodscode=335175820

2.) http://gsearch.gmarket.co.kr/Listview/Search?keyword=vogmask

that's the 2-pronged attack that i use.

Thanks a lot, Kobayashi!  Worthwhile investments.

no problem mate  8) the air purifier might seem expensive but it's one of the cheapest models that is still good. i own that exact one and it is big too, so can purify a large room. you can also re-sell it when you eventually leave korea, so you can recoup some of the cash at a later stage.

the vogmask is N99-rated and re-usable for many times. the pollution in korea is bad but not as bad as china, should be able to get at least 2-3 months use out of it before you have to buy a new one. just make sure you check the sizing before you buy. i have a 'Large' size with quite a narrow face and it fits me ok. if your face is rounder or more square, Large should fit even better. i think the medium size is quite small and more intended for women, would buy that only if you have an unusually small head.

Offline Periwinkle

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Re: Pollution blues
« Reply #114 on: October 14, 2016, 12:18:34 PM »
Moderate-unhealthy may be bad for you. People's bodies may vary in what they are able to tolerate.

The reading in New York City is 4. http://aqicn.org/city/newyork/

In Seoul it's 114. http://aqicn.org/city/seoul/ That's 28.5 times as high.

In Asia, take more steps like wearing a mask and buying air filters I guess to mitigate the effects. Posters above gave some good advice. Let us know how it works for you.

Great advice.  Will do and keep you posted.  Appreciate your thoughts.

Online Thomas Mc

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Re: Pollution blues
« Reply #115 on: October 14, 2016, 12:24:14 PM »
I am in Beijing at the moment and pollution levels (aqi) are at 282.

I am seriously considering Korea next contract as a way of escaping the pollution.

Is anyone leaving a GEPIK job in Bundang or Ilsan and looking for a replacement next February? If you are, shoot me a PM.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2016, 12:26:01 PM by Thomas Mc »

Offline pigeonfart

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Re: Pollution blues
« Reply #116 on: October 14, 2016, 12:59:04 PM »
I also recommend the wearing of masks outdoors and an air purifier at home. It has made a noticable difference to me. I feel the negative effects on my throat when i don't take those measures. You might feel self-conscious wearing a mask at first, but i've been doing it for so long now that i'm not self-conscious at all.  It does make a big difference so DO IT.

Keep your windows closed at home (and in your classroom if possible) when pollution leves are above the W.H.O. level of 25 micrograms (which unfortunately is the case about 95% of the time in Seoul). There's no point paying attention to the Korean pollution system that classifies pollution up to a staggering 80 micrograms as '보통' (meaning 'normal' or 'average').

Don't feel at ease by the fact that on most days the Korean government only recommends the elderly or asthma sufferers to take preventative measures...if the air is bad for those then it's bad for EVERYONE including you.

Don't dry your clothes outdoors on those days too.

On average I get to open my window at home only about 3 or 4 days a month in Seoul!
It's that bad in Seoul. It's bad according to the W.H.O. standards, and it's 'normal' according to the Koreans standards. Which standard are you going to trust? We all know how Koreans can't see danger. The air in Korea is much WORSE than people think.

There are some published facts about the huge increases in lung cancer, birth defects, heart problems etc, that have increased in Korea in the last 20 years. These increases are directly attributable to air pollution and it's a scary read. I don't want to alarm anyone, but preventative measures are highly recommended.

That being said, if you're only here for a year then i wouldn't worry too much, But if you're in Korea long term then you'd better change your behavior.


Offline klx001

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Re: Pollution blues
« Reply #117 on: October 14, 2016, 01:07:09 PM »
I think you're body is just adjusting to the new (more polluted) environment. It might take some more time (maybe longer than others). Even so, take preventative measures if you feel like you must. hope your body adjusts well to the new environment, and hopefully the
"air"ea (area) becomes less polluted. hahah  :wink:
« Last Edit: October 14, 2016, 01:09:56 PM by klx001 »
idk tho.

Offline dospringe

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Re: Pollution blues
« Reply #118 on: October 16, 2016, 06:43:45 PM »
You could also try to use a Neti pot to clean out your nasal passages and sinuses.

It helped me a lot with hayfever and other allergies

Offline gaelynwrites

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Re: Pollution blues
« Reply #119 on: October 17, 2016, 07:59:57 AM »
I take a 24hour OTC allergy (Allegra) everyday to help with some of the symptoms that the air here in Korea creates. Helps with the body trying to compensate for all of the irritants in the air.  Hope you find something that works before the next yellow dust season rolls around.