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Author Topic: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?  (Read 97142 times)

Offline Space

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #60 on: May 09, 2014, 12:57:17 PM »
Now I get it. All Koreans smoke because the air here is sheeba anyway.

Sheeba? http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=sheeba?



or shibal?


Offline BTeacher

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #62 on: June 22, 2014, 02:04:33 PM »
IMO, yes the air pollution is bad enough to justify leaving Korea over it.

Believe it or not, I've been sick for a year: rhinitus, sinusitus, persistent cough, etc. I've been to 4 different doctors, and they all say it is linked to pollution (+ a weakened immune system due to the pollution, + newly developed allergies).

I'll be going back for my...I don't even know, 13th? 15? straight week of antibiotics & other pills tomorrow. I've had shots, nose vacuuming, nose cleaning, tried eating local honey daily, avoided going outside, cut alcohol way down, exercise regularly, eat healthy, drink 4L of water a day + tea, done home steam therapy, herbal ointments...they've all helped to some degree with the symptoms, but I'm still sick. Always.

Too bad I can't leave. No jobs back home.


Offline VanIslander

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #63 on: June 22, 2014, 02:40:53 PM »
I have breathed better in my birthcity Vancouver, Canada and CELTA-certified city Auckland, New Zealand ("Oakland" it sounds like by kiwi accent; "Auk-land" it sounds like by North American accent).

I have taught in South Korea for over 12 years and am in the southernmost city of Seogwipo, Jeju Island in significant part due to the relatively clean, more often Pacific Ocean breezed air.

There is no cleaner air in the Republic of Korea than where I am, yet I think this B.C. born and raised Canuck may be headed back to Canada someday in at least part due to air quality reasons (though the clorine-free and fluoride-free Samdasoo Jeju volcanic rock mineral water I get here at 6 L for under $3 (2,800 won) plays into my calculations.

When one has passed the average life expectancy age, one starts to think about maximizing one's probabilities of survival, or at least considers age-related stats regarding environmental and lifestyle factors (epidemiology studies are as much your friend as google).

Offline Life Improvement

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #64 on: June 22, 2014, 02:58:18 PM »
Too bad I can't leave. No jobs back home.

No jobs back home is a myth.

If the area from which you came is economically depressed (a rust belt city or something like that) you could always move to where the jobs are. That and/or develop a skill that will make you more marketable.

http://www.bls.gov/web/laus/laumstrk.htm

College grads have a leg up for getting jobs. The more educated a person is, the easier it will be for them to be hired.

"Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicates that in 2013, 3.5 percent of all white college graduates were unemployed while nearly 6 percent of all black college graduates sought work but could not find it."


Offline BTeacher

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #65 on: June 22, 2014, 03:01:02 PM »
I have breathed better in my birthcity Vancouver, Canada and CELTA-certified city Auckland, New Zealand ("Oakland" it sounds like by kiwi accent; "Auk-land" it sounds like by North American accent).

I have taught in South Korea for over 12 years and am in the southernmost city of Seogwipo, Jeju Island in significant part due to the relatively clean, more often Pacific Ocean breezed air.

There is no cleaner air in the Republic of Korea than where I am, yet I think this B.C. born and raised Canuck may be headed back to Canada someday in at least part due to air quality reasons (though the clorine-free and fluoride-free Samdasoo Jeju volcanic rock mineral water I get here at 6 L for under $3 (2,800 won) plays into my calculations.


I'm on Jeju now too, and, while my symptoms have lessened, they certainly haven't gone away since I moved down from the mainland.

Perhaps the damage is done after 2 years on the mainland?

My previous 2 years on Jeju without any issues would suggest so.

Also, my sister recently visited for 3 weeks and came down with bronchitis on her flight home--the same thing I've had pretty much chronically for months--coincidence?



Offline BTeacher

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #66 on: June 22, 2014, 03:05:49 PM »
Too bad I can't leave. No jobs back home.

No jobs back home is a myth.

If the area from which you came is economically depressed (a rust belt city or something like that) you could always move to where the jobs are. That and/or develop a skill that will make you more marketable.

http://www.bls.gov/web/laus/laumstrk.htm

College grads have a leg up for getting jobs. The more educated a person is, the easier it will be for them to be hired.

"Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicates that in 2013, 3.5 percent of all white college graduates were unemployed while nearly 6 percent of all black college graduates sought work but could not find it."

You may post all the stats you like, but I moved back to Canada for a year, to Toronto, and lived the reality: the only jobs I got could have been done (and in some cases, were) by alcoholic high school dropouts. And I applied to 50+ jobs, each with a customized cover letter, researched the companies, all that.

Sorry, I shouldn't have said "no jobs". I got work (eventually). It was just absolutely awful manual labour & on call 24/7 stuff.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2014, 03:16:36 PM by BTeacher »

Offline Life Improvement

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #67 on: June 22, 2014, 04:00:43 PM »
All I'm saying is think outside the box and have hope. To be trapped in a place you don't like for (perceived) lack of other options is sad. There are many places in the world (including Toronto) offering good jobs. Try another approach and you could be successful. (A negative/pessimistic attitude can be handicapping.)


Offline EL34

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #69 on: July 23, 2014, 10:16:23 PM »
Too bad I can't leave. No jobs back home.

No jobs back home is a myth.

If the area from which you came is economically depressed (a rust belt city or something like that) you could always move to where the jobs are. That and/or develop a skill that will make you more marketable.

http://www.bls.gov/web/laus/laumstrk.htm

College grads have a leg up for getting jobs. The more educated a person is, the easier it will be for them to be hired.

"Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicates that in 2013, 3.5 percent of all white college graduates were unemployed while nearly 6 percent of all black college graduates sought work but could not find it."

Yup, there are jobs. Stop listening to people's failure stories here and look at your friends and relatives back home who have steady jobs.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2014, 07:55:50 AM by EL34 »

Offline grey

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #70 on: July 23, 2014, 10:31:27 PM »
Here I am being a Korean apologist again.

According to this site on global air quality: http://aqicn.org/map/world/ , Korea usually has the lowest, green-level pollution levels. Yellow, or the second best levels are also present.

Japan's metropolitan areas usually hover one step higher at yellow, with a significant amount of orange, or level 3.

This surprised me. Although, in my experience the pollution never affected me. I used to have asthma beeteedub.

Most Western cities seem to hover in the green/yellow range.
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Offline expat ajumma

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #71 on: July 24, 2014, 07:52:35 AM »
Actually, the levels considered safe in Korea are almost twice as high as those back in the states. Also, Korea doesn't monitor p2.5 particles, which are the stuff that really causes long term health problems... so it reads as safer as it is.

I wish I was like you! I DEVELOPED asthma here... of course, I live in Daegu (which is a giant bowl trapping in all the crud) right next to a factory complex.

Here I am being a Korean apologist again.

According to this site on global air quality: http://aqicn.org/map/world/ , Korea usually has the lowest, green-level pollution levels. Yellow, or the second best levels are also present.

Japan's metropolitan areas usually hover one step higher at yellow, with a significant amount of orange, or level 3.

This surprised me. Although, in my experience the pollution never affected me. I used to have asthma beeteedub.

Most Western cities seem to hover in the green/yellow range.

Offline EL34

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #72 on: July 24, 2014, 08:08:55 AM »
Actually, the levels considered safe in Korea are almost twice as high as those back in the states. Also, Korea doesn't monitor p2.5 particles, which are the stuff that really causes long term health problems... so it reads as safer as it is.

I wish I was like you! I DEVELOPED asthma here... of course, I live in Daegu (which is a giant bowl trapping in all the crud) right next to a factory complex.

Here I am being a Korean apologist again.

According to this site on global air quality: http://aqicn.org/map/world/ , Korea usually has the lowest, green-level pollution levels. Yellow, or the second best levels are also present.

Japan's metropolitan areas usually hover one step higher at yellow, with a significant amount of orange, or level 3.

This surprised me. Although, in my experience the pollution never affected me. I used to have asthma beeteedub.

Most Western cities seem to hover in the green/yellow range.

The lack of rain for most of the spring and summer so far this year, and the resulting dust, has done a job on my lungs. I first noticed it about 4 weeks ago when I became winded walking up a flight of stairs (and I workout very regularly, so I'm fit). Then, I got a cough that wouldn't go away. My doctor put me on asthma medication because of it. Now that it's raining, I can breathe normally again (for someone residing on mainland Korea) without medication.

Like you said, they don't measure the levels of the smaller particles of dust. Why? One wouldn't be wrong to guess that it's because the chaebols (which control the local government) want to hide the pollution they produce and fear that Koreans will react in a way that will harm their business interests in China, the main source of dust and air pollution over the peninsula.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2014, 08:17:49 AM by EL34 »

Offline CanineKimchi

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #73 on: July 24, 2014, 08:09:05 AM »
Now I get it. All Koreans smoke because the air here is sheeba anyway.

Sheeba? http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=sheeba?



or shibal?

Definitely shibal

Offline MayorHaggar

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #74 on: July 24, 2014, 08:25:27 AM »
Here I am being a Korean apologist again.

According to this site on global air quality: http://aqicn.org/map/world/ , Korea usually has the lowest, green-level pollution levels. Yellow, or the second best levels are also present.

Japan's metropolitan areas usually hover one step higher at yellow, with a significant amount of orange, or level 3.

This surprised me. Although, in my experience the pollution never affected me. I used to have asthma beeteedub.

Most Western cities seem to hover in the green/yellow range.

As expat ajumma said those readings are really misleading.

Japan and China's color ratings on that site are for PM 2.5. South Korea's are only for PM10 which is far less toxic. If you look at the PM10 numbers for China they are often only slightly higher than South Korea's, meaning that it's very possible that South Korea's PM 2.5 levels are very close to China's unbreathable air. But we have no idea because nobody posts South Korean PM 2.5 levels anywhere, even though you can get a PM 2.5 monitoring device (made in South Korea!) for just a few hundred dollars. You'd think some foreigner could do it, probably South Korea is just dragging its feet because it doesn't want Koreans or the outside world to know just how polluted the air is here.

For now that site is only good for comparing pollution in one day in South Korea to the next. Until South Korea starts measuring PM2.5 it will be useless for comparing South Korean pollution to that of China or Japan.
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Offline Space

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #75 on: July 24, 2014, 09:24:02 AM »
Here I am being a Korean apologist again.

According to this site on global air quality: http://aqicn.org/map/world/ , Korea usually has the lowest, green-level pollution levels. Yellow, or the second best levels are also present.

Japan's metropolitan areas usually hover one step higher at yellow, with a significant amount of orange, or level 3.

This surprised me. Although, in my experience the pollution never affected me. I used to have asthma beeteedub.

Most Western cities seem to hover in the green/yellow range.

As expat ajumma said those readings are really misleading.

Japan and China's color ratings on that site are for PM 2.5. South Korea's are only for PM10 which is far less toxic. If you look at the PM10 numbers for China they are often only slightly higher than South Korea's, meaning that it's very possible that South Korea's PM 2.5 levels are very close to China's unbreathable air. But we have no idea because nobody posts South Korean PM 2.5 levels anywhere, even though you can get a PM 2.5 monitoring device (made in South Korea!) for just a few hundred dollars. You'd think some foreigner could do it, probably South Korea is just dragging its feet because it doesn't want Koreans or the outside world to know just how polluted the air is here.

For now that site is only good for comparing pollution in one day in South Korea to the next. Until South Korea starts measuring PM2.5 it will be useless for comparing South Korean pollution to that of China or Japan.

Definitely misleading.. The air is very poor here and they know it but don't want to prove it. Just look outside. The only time I see blue skies is after heavy heavy rain. 

Offline ben89

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #76 on: July 24, 2014, 09:58:51 AM »
But if you look at the quality today on apicn.org, most all cities are in the green. This confuses me as to what to think about the air quality here, or how it is measured. It is visibly bad many days. There is dissonance here I am having a hard time understanding.

I tell myself that I am coughing because working with kids who cough on everything spread bacteria my body is otherwise not use to. This is true for new teachers in the states.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2014, 10:04:28 AM by ben89 »

Offline Life Improvement

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #77 on: July 30, 2014, 09:13:41 AM »
Yup, there are jobs. Stop listening to people's failure stories here and look at your friends and relatives back home who have steady jobs.

That's right. Decent opportunities do exist in the West.

http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm

Typical (median) salary for a person whose highest level of educational attainment was a BA: $57,616. For an MA: $69,108. Not bad.

Offline BTeacher

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #78 on: July 30, 2014, 06:03:17 PM »
Yup, there are jobs. Stop listening to people's failure stories here and look at your friends and relatives back home who have steady jobs.

Failure stories? If you go back and read you'll find that I did actually find a job, it was just terrible. Merely tolerating your job just to live month to month with no chance of meaningful advancement is not my idea of living.

Every year in Korea (on my 5th now), I've made more money, had a better job, better hours, a bigger apartment, or all four. Yes, the air pollution and sickness it has caused sucks, but in my experience the job opportunities are much, much better.

Toronto was completely stagnant by comparison. Nobody cared about my years of teaching, skills, or my B.A.[H], it all came down to whether or not I had sufficient experience, and a car.

And Life Improvement, please spare me your "think outside the box" type comments. I think outside the box plenty; that's one of the reasons I flew half way around the world to teach English in Korea.
I find it curious why you don't just move back to the West if you think it's such a magical fairyland, where people with BA's frequently make 50K+ a year. The only people I know who make that kind of money are computer wizards, people that work 60-80 hours a week, and those that have been at their jobs for more than 10 years.

(I'm not angry, BTW, just slightly annoyed that you are making some pretty big assumptions about someone you don't even know.)


Offline madison79

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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #79 on: July 30, 2014, 07:02:05 PM »
NO.  Thread done.
It's -ev to deal with some people.