February 22, 2019, 12:44:14 PM


Author Topic: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?  (Read 97139 times)

Online zola

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #460 on: March 27, 2018, 09:42:17 AM »
Also, my neighbor has piles of old furniture that he constantly burns in his stove. It's all low quality particle board/ plastic laminate/  pressure treated wood, etc that is very toxic to burn. It wafts into my window any time I open it and it's right next to the school, where kids are outside playing soccer.
Jeez. That is serious. Some treated wood smoke can damage your lungs with just a few inhalations. I hope it's not that kind.

There's an empty lot near where I live that I look down directly on to from my apartment, where people grow vegetables. Like an allotment you'd see in England. The only difference being that it's also the trash burning area for local a-holes. I saw an old man throw one of those ride on remote control cars that kids have here, on to the fire. Fully plastic. A lady burns her kids nappies. Basically anything you shouldn't burn, they burn.
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Online oglop

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #461 on: March 27, 2018, 10:18:43 AM »
When I talk to my mum, she's always saying 'What are people doing about it?  Why isn't anyone campaigning about it?' 
this is what i don't understand. probably just easier to blame china for everything :rolleyes:

"oh well it's 100% china's fault and there's nothing korea can do about it. as long as we eat samgyeopsal, it will remove all of the pollution from our lungs anyway"
-people i've actually talked to

Offline MayorHaggar

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #462 on: March 27, 2018, 10:24:28 AM »
Been out of Korea 3 days and my skin already looks healthier and my stomach isn't upset all the time. Blue skies all day every day.

What? You make it sound like itís hell on earth. Koreans generally look quite healthy; maybe itís just you. Iíve had very little stomach problems, but the pollution does play havoc with my respiratory system; Iím pretty active usually and the heavily polluted days give me a sore throat and headache if Iíve been exercising.

Koreans have all kinds of skin problems which they cover up with makeup and by avoiding sunlight like vampires. And there's a reason Korean English textbooks for kids have entire chapters dedicates to stuff like "Minho has diarrhea again and has to ask to go to the bathroom 50 times." Food in Korea is usually rotten or full of bacteria.
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Online Mister Tim

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #463 on: March 27, 2018, 10:31:04 AM »
"oh well it's 100% china's fault and there's nothing korea can do about it. as long as we eat samgyeopsal, it will remove all of the pollution from our lungs anyway"
-people i've actually talked to

During my second year here (about 4 years ago) there was a study showing that eating samgyeopsal doesn't remove pollution from your lungs. I remember some coworkers reacting like "Really? I thought it did," while I sat there thinking "Wait, they actually needed to do a study to disprove that?"

Offline kiwikimchi

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #464 on: March 27, 2018, 10:49:47 AM »
Koreaís life expectancy is set to rise; I guess itís all that pollution, huh? Try not smoking, not eating too much fatty meat, regular exercise and you might find that will increase your life expectancy rather than leaving Korea.
https://www.nature.com/news/life-expectancy-set-to-hit-90-in-south-korea-1.21535
[/quote]

I don't drink, don't smoke, don't eat much meat, exercise a lot (air permitting) sleep plenty, and do a lot more to live a healthy life. You still can't escape breathing in the carcinogenic toxic air that has been proven to cause deadly chronic conditions. My health is more important than money is what it's come down too. I think many English teachers (such as yourself it seems) living in Korea are ignorant to the potiential of serious health problems by being exposed to the pollution long term.
"Koreaís life expectancy is set to rise." And I wonder what the quality of life will be like for those people???
Living longer doesn't mean the person will have a great quality of life. Being bed ridden with machines breathing for you is something you may look forward too.

Online Chinguetti

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #465 on: March 27, 2018, 11:20:21 AM »
Yeah, the denial and blame-shifting is incredibly strong, and it doesn't help when groups and the government keep putting out crap "studies" that keep so many people from looking in their own backyards. Even worse is when you have individuals who are so acclimated to the pollution that they feel like it's not a problem just because they don't notice any symptoms.

Like... many people don't display symptoms of cancer, but that doesn't make their cancer any less serious or fatal. Cancer is still cancer, even if you can't feel it there.

I wanted to stay in Korea for a while longer, but the past couple of months have had me seriously rethinking where I'll be come the end of this contract. I live in an area where, when I first arrived, was mostly green with some yellow days for most of the year. And there were never any orange or red days.

Now it's mostly orange and red. I've spent a lot of money to keep both my home and work environment filtered, and I now have a collection of masks to wear outside depending on my activity level (I can't even enjoy an outdoor jog without a mask now). I shouldn't have to do all that.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2018, 11:23:03 AM by Chinguetti »

Offline kiwikimchi

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #466 on: March 27, 2018, 12:07:37 PM »
Yes. I feel the same. It looks like I'll be stuck inside not being able to hike in the blooming blossom in the nice spring weather.

Last year on childrens sports day the air was horrendous (red/purple numbers) and I was questioned about why I was wearing a hwungsa mask. They thought it was odd the native teacher was wearing a mask. I told them because the air is very bad today as I looked and pointed at the deep haze and unhealthy to breath in. "Hmm, oh really, I don't think it's bad. You don't need the mask" I then showed him the fine dust levels were red lining on my phone and he just brushed it off and said something along the lines of Oh, 'it's not that bad and maybe the levels aren't accurate and not valid because he thought it was an American app.'


Online Thomas Mc

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #467 on: March 27, 2018, 12:48:36 PM »
Just to keep things in perspective Qingdao and areas of China are registering readings of "999" or beyond index.

I'm guessing the major pollutant is pm10 (or the bigger sand particles) considered less harmful than pm 2.5

Offline CJ

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #468 on: March 27, 2018, 12:59:06 PM »
Koreaís life expectancy is set to rise; I guess itís all that pollution, huh? Try not smoking, not eating too much fatty meat, regular exercise and you might find that will increase your life expectancy rather than leaving Korea.
https://www.nature.com/news/life-expectancy-set-to-hit-90-in-south-korea-1.21535

I don't drink, don't smoke, don't eat much meat, exercise a lot (air permitting) sleep plenty, and do a lot more to live a healthy life. You still can't escape breathing in the carcinogenic toxic air that has been proven to cause deadly chronic conditions. My health is more important than money is what it's come down too. I think many English teachers (such as yourself it seems) living in Korea are ignorant to the potiential of serious health problems by being exposed to the pollution long term.
"Koreaís life expectancy is set to rise." And I wonder what the quality of life will be like for those people???
Living longer doesn't mean the person will have a great quality of life. Being bed ridden with machines breathing for you is something you may look forward too.
[/quote]

Here's an article showing that an entire life spent in the most polluted cities in China might reduce your life expectancy by 3.5 years.

https://qz.com/1071421/this-is-how-much-of-your-life-air-pollution-is-stealing-from-you-based-on-where-you-live/

As none of us are living our entire years in China, and as Korean cities are not as polluted, I think you're being a bit over-the-top with how dangerous it is here. When you factor in the amount of naturally occuring illnesses that occur after one is 65+, with perhaps hereditary issues as well, I don't think a few years in Korea is going to hurt too much. If you're that concerned, go live in a farm in NZ and live off the land.

Offline tadpole511

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #469 on: March 27, 2018, 01:51:50 PM »
I'm at a point now where I feel like I have to choose between going outside and possibly getting cancer/a whole host of other respiratory problems (which are already starting to show up, and I haven't really been here that long) and staying inside and not getting the exercise/outdoor time I need to stay sane.

Even at school, I'm getting massive headaches, coughing horribly, nose is running, near constant bronchitis, because they keep the doors and windows open. I can't teach with a mask on, so I just have to suck it up, but I really want to get some plants and/or an air purifier for my office and apartment. Especially because SO's job will keep us here for two more years.

Offline kiwikimchi

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #470 on: March 27, 2018, 01:54:29 PM »
China is very bad I know. But to imply that Korea isn't as bad at China isn't the smartest point. It's still bad here.
I'd rather be "over the top" and watchful of my environment and err on the side of caution than be blase about my health. Each to their own.
Not a kiwi btw but living off the land in NZ sounds good to me!

Online JVPrice

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #471 on: March 27, 2018, 01:58:41 PM »
I lived in Florida my whole life before coming here. I've never been more grateful for those clear blue skies than I have now. These past few days have been so gloomy. I miss the sun  :sad:
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Offline JNM

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #472 on: March 27, 2018, 02:11:17 PM »
On masks:

I have done quite a bit of work in the OH&S world.

All of my training tells me that masks should be properly fitted, and filters changed frequently, otherwise don't even bother.

The mask-wearing I see in Korea is a waste of effort.

Online Chinguetti

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #473 on: March 27, 2018, 02:20:20 PM »
On masks:

I have done quite a bit of work in the OH&S world.

All of my training tells me that masks should be properly fitted, and filters changed frequently, otherwise don't even bother.

The mask-wearing I see in Korea is a waste of effort.

This is why I spent a shit-ton of money on good masks with replaceable filters. Most of the ones I have are meant for really active lifestyles, so they're made to fit like gloves.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2018, 03:16:28 PM by Chinguetti »

Online Lazio

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #474 on: March 27, 2018, 07:17:01 PM »
Just to keep things in perspective Qingdao and areas of China are registering readings of "999" or beyond index.

I'm guessing the major pollutant is pm10 (or the bigger sand particles) considered less harmful than pm 2.5

It's been ''999'' all over that peninsula for a couple of weeks at least. A friend's wife went there earlier this month. I asked her about the air quality, was she able to see anything at all or what's it like there? It's at least 6 times worse supposedly than here right now so I was wondering. She said, it seemed better there than in Korea. Go figure...

Offline Life Improvement

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #475 on: March 27, 2018, 08:51:48 PM »
She said, it seemed better there than in Korea.

Hmm. I think she's right (and creeper1 aka ThomasMc wrong).

On the airvisual.com website it shows readings there on par with what is seen in Seoul.

https://www.airvisual.com/china

https://www.airvisual.com/south-korea

So...I guess a Korean nationalist / troll submitted the 999 numbers for the region? (That website runs on self submissions.) Or perhaps some crappy machines broke? But there's something fishy about the discrepancy. (Although the inaccuracy could be on the other end, just less likely.)

Online zola

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #476 on: March 28, 2018, 09:02:26 AM »
On masks:

I have done quite a bit of work in the OH&S world.

All of my training tells me that masks should be properly fitted, and filters changed frequently, otherwise don't even bother. It might mitigate it a little but, but really not enough.

The mask-wearing I see in Korea is a waste of effort.

Accurate. If there's even a millimeter of open space, the air is just going to go through that, not get filtered, and you're still breathing it in. Mask wearing here is useless.

Not accurate, [offensive slur deleted by mod]
N90 + masks are absolutely effective in mitigating the effects of air pollution. Obviously nothing, short of a full face respirator, is going to stop everything. The better the seal, the more it stops, but a complete seal while active is hard to maintain. Theat doesnt't mean that a "1mm gap" is going to make the mask useless. That's stupid.

A 1mm passageway is going to allow a much smaller, more restricted flow of pollutants in, than no barrier whatsoever, which would a allow a complete flow in. General air pollutants aren't like viruses, where just 1 micron gets in and the damage is done. Or even asbestos, where tiny amounts breathed in can go on to cause cancer.
It works on a scale. You are never going to avoid all of it, but the more barriers, imperfect as they absolutely are, the better. It's why they say to stay indoors on bad days. Do windows filter and block air pollution? Obviously not. But it stops enough, that's it better to be inside than outside.

Am I really having to explain this to a university educated person?
« Last Edit: March 29, 2018, 08:49:55 AM by nzer-in-gyeongnam »
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Online Chinguetti

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #477 on: March 28, 2018, 09:41:35 AM »
And I wonder what the quality of life will be like for those people???
Living longer doesn't mean the person will have a great quality of life. Being bed ridden with machines breathing for you is something you may look forward too.

China is very bad I know. But to imply that Korea isn't as bad at China isn't the smartest point. It's still bad here.
I'd rather be "over the top" and watchful of my environment and err on the side of caution than be blase about my health. Each to their own.
Not a kiwi btw but living off the land in NZ sounds good to me!

Pretty much all of this.

Opposing logic reminds me of those smokers who say that they won't get cancer because they have an uncle or friend of the family who smoked 10 packs a day and lived to be 100.

While smoking doesn't guarantee you'll get cancer, it does increase your risks by A LOT, and you're gambling with that -- and even if you avoid getting cancer, you absolutely will have other health problems that will affect your quality of life, even if they don't necessarily shorten your lifespan.

I have people in my family who lived well into their 80s and 90s who were habitual smokers in their younger years... but they couldn't breathe worth a damn and had a slew of associated health issues as a result.

And children are a lot more susceptible to adverse effects. China has a ton of birth defects, miscarriages, and developmental issues in their young as a direct and indirect result of the local pollution.

Just a word of caution, don't take air pollution lightly. You can get away with short-term exposure, but the years do add up and take their toll, and damage to the lungs is permanent.

https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/air-pollution/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5122104/
http://www.mass.gov/eea/docs/dep/air/aq/health-and-env-effects-air-pollutions.pdf
http://oem.bmj.com/content/62/7/432
https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/fine-particles-hospitalizations-lung-health-disease/
« Last Edit: March 28, 2018, 12:07:53 PM by Chinguetti »

Offline JNM

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #478 on: March 28, 2018, 10:01:49 AM »
On masks:

I have done quite a bit of work in the OH&S world.

All of my training tells me that masks should be properly fitted, and filters changed frequently, otherwise don't even bother. It might mitigate it a little but, but really not enough.

The mask-wearing I see in Korea is a waste of effort.

Accurate. If there's even a millimeter of open space, the air is just going to go through that, not get filtered, and you're still breathing it in. Mask wearing here is useless.

Not accurate, [offensive slur deleted by mod].
N90 + masks are absolutely effective in mitigating the effects of air pollution. Obviously nothing, short of a full face respirator, is going to stop everything. The better the seal, the more it stops, but a complete seal while active is hard to maintain. Theat doesnt't mean that a "1mm gap" is going to make the mask useless. That's stupid.

A 1mm passageway is going to allow a much smaller, more restricted flow of pollutants in, than no barrier whatsoever, which would a allow a complete flow in. General air pollutants aren't like viruses, where just 1 micron gets in and the damage is done. Or even asbestos, where tiny amounts breathed in can go on to cause cancer.
It works on a scale. You are never going to avoid all of it, but the more barriers, imperfect as they absolutely are, the better. It's why they say to stay indoors on bad days. Do windows filter and block air pollution? Obviously not. But it stops enough, that's it better to be inside than outside.

Am I really having to explain this to a university educated person?

Once the mask filter is clogged with particulate (~20 minutes) all the air you breathe is going via this bypass 1mm gap.

With a well fitted mask, you have difficulty drawing air, so you know you need to change it.




« Last Edit: March 29, 2018, 08:50:25 AM by nzer-in-gyeongnam »

Online zola

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #479 on: March 28, 2018, 10:49:00 AM »
On masks:

I have done quite a bit of work in the OH&S world.

All of my training tells me that masks should be properly fitted, and filters changed frequently, otherwise don't even bother. It might mitigate it a little but, but really not enough.

The mask-wearing I see in Korea is a waste of effort.

Accurate. If there's even a millimeter of open space, the air is just going to go through that, not get filtered, and you're still breathing it in. Mask wearing here is useless.

Not accurate, [offensive slur deleted by mod]
N90 + masks are absolutely effective in mitigating the effects of air pollution. Obviously nothing, short of a full face respirator, is going to stop everything. The better the seal, the more it stops, but a complete seal while active is hard to maintain. Theat doesnt't mean that a "1mm gap" is going to make the mask useless. That's stupid.

A 1mm passageway is going to allow a much smaller, more restricted flow of pollutants in, than no barrier whatsoever, which would a allow a complete flow in. General air pollutants aren't like viruses, where just 1 micron gets in and the damage is done. Or even asbestos, where tiny amounts breathed in can go on to cause cancer.
It works on a scale. You are never going to avoid all of it, but the more barriers, imperfect as they absolutely are, the better. It's why they say to stay indoors on bad days. Do windows filter and block air pollution? Obviously not. But it stops enough, that's it better to be inside than outside.

Am I really having to explain this to a university educated person?

Once the mask filter is clogged with particulate (~20 minutes) all the air you breathe is going via this bypass 1mm gap.

With a well fitted mask, you have difficulty drawing air, so you know you need to change it.

The filter on an N90/95 mask isn't going to clog in 20 minutes unless you are walking nearby a pyroclastic flow of  a erupting volcano. Dont know what line your OHS was in, but I'm guessing building sites?

They have done test on them in China and were still filtering over 90% after 5 days of use.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2018, 08:50:51 AM by nzer-in-gyeongnam »
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