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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #700 on: January 16, 2019, 09:39:36 am »
I've been here for five years and I've never taken any notice of the air quality; never worried about it, never felt sick, never wear a mask.

But recently the stuff I've been seeing on Facebook expat groups is like something out of Birdbox..."Don't take off your mask!!  If you take off your mask I will hurt you!"  People talking about dust particles entering your bloodstream and causing diseases and all sorts of nasty things.

Is it really that bad?  People being too melodramatic?  I can't tell.


  • raysmith
  • Super Waygook

    • 342

    • August 16, 2012, 07:01:58 am
    • Korea
Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #701 on: January 16, 2019, 10:18:11 am »
I've been here for five years and I've never taken any notice of the air quality; never worried about it, never felt sick, never wear a mask.

But recently the stuff I've been seeing on Facebook expat groups is like something out of Birdbox..."Don't take off your mask!!  If you take off your mask I will hurt you!"  People talking about dust particles entering your bloodstream and causing diseases and all sorts of nasty things.

Is it really that bad?  People being too melodramatic?  I can't tell.

I arrived in South Korea in March 2012.  I almost left the first week because the air pollution was so dreadful.  I ended up leaving after five years - no improvement in that time.

I am now told that the situation is worse in the city I live in.  They have posted photos. People are not being melodramatic.  The air pollution is dreadful.


Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #702 on: January 16, 2019, 10:22:34 am »
I've been here for five years and I've never taken any notice of the air quality; never worried about it, never felt sick, never wear a mask.

But recently the stuff I've been seeing on Facebook expat groups is like something out of Birdbox..."Don't take off your mask!!  If you take off your mask I will hurt you!"  People talking about dust particles entering your bloodstream and causing diseases and all sorts of nasty things.

Is it really that bad?  People being too melodramatic?  I can't tell.
Yes and no. The pollution was REALLY bad the last couple of days and you probably should wear a mask (though the usefulness of those is questionable).

At the same time, people these days crap themselves in fear over everything and get wayyyy too panicky.


Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #703 on: January 23, 2019, 04:14:09 am »


Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #704 on: January 24, 2019, 12:40:40 pm »
Here in the Southern Hemisphere the UV rays from the sun are really extreme because there isn't much pollution to block the sun, and you bastard Northerners produce so much pollution that you destroyed the ozone layer. Even when it's 20C outside I can feel my skin start to burn within minutes of going outside.

(shakes fist)
Quote
Quote from: Mr.DeMartino on Yesterday at 01:40:32 PM

    Trump is a liar and a con man.


  • Cyanea
  • Hero of Waygookistan

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    • September 04, 2016, 01:48:24 pm
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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #705 on: March 01, 2019, 12:31:23 am »
I want people to know that the screenshot posted above is absolutely not typical of what you see in Korea.

Its at the same levels today. And was last week.


Its gotten worse year on year.  Nothings being done.
Catch my drift?


Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #706 on: March 01, 2019, 10:20:59 am »
I've seen one blue sky in months.  This is getting disgusting.  It's very true that it's getting worse every year yet more coal plants are coming online soon..  This placed is screwed.  Is 2.2m and a moldy shoebox apartment worth breathing in these toxins?  Time to pack it up folks.


  • zola
  • The Legend

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    • September 30, 2012, 06:56:11 am
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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #707 on: March 01, 2019, 11:09:58 am »
This February has been the worst. Even down here in the south. Last night it was around 280, I got a warning sms from the government. Still about 190. All weekend and next week its forecasted to stay in the red.

It used to be bad in specific, predictable periods and then the odd really bad day here and there. Now its weeks and weeks of continuous red days with the odd yellow day in between. Cant remember the last green day. I spent 10 days in Japan in January and the blue skies were amazing. My mood lifted just from the clear air. I have 11 months left in this country. There are many reasons I'm leaving, but the worsening air pollution is in the top 3, especially having a kid. This isn't living.
Kpip! - Martin 2018


  • jimskins
  • Adventurer

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    • July 02, 2014, 12:34:19 pm
    • Paju
Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #708 on: March 01, 2019, 05:02:48 pm »
We live in Goyang near Ilsan.  My parents are currently visiting for two weeks.  Of the 10 days they have been here so far there was only 1 where we could go outside, and the level was 80 then, hardly clean air.

My dad's take on it:

"If you don't leave or at the very least move to Jeju you are putting yourselves and especially your children in an early grave."

We have really got to stop people saying this crap is seasonal.  What is more accurate is to say "we have seasonal clean air in Korea, in Summer it's not so bad, but the rest of the time the air quality is poor."  Although it's getting worse, so maybe Summer will be wiped out this year too.

At the beginning of the year i started marking on a calender the days when the level was over a hundred for a few hours or more.  By the end of January I had marked nearly two thirds of the days and my wife told me to either stop it or just leave Korea for good. If you live in Seoul/Gyeongi we are two months into the year and at least half of the days have been red.  You cannot stick your head in the sand anymore.  Neither my wife or I particularly want to leave but I don't want to raise battery-farmed kids, never mind my own health.  It's a nightmare.

The locals are slowly starting to wake up to it though.  If you look at the comments on the naver news articles reporting the dust you can see a lot of anger, some aimed at China but increasingly at Moon Jae In.  He did promise (slightly foolishly) to solve this problem, but the measures taken so far have been toothless.

Apparently they are organizing a large protest at Gwanghwamun tomorrow about the pollution, it will be interesting to see how large it is.


Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #709 on: March 01, 2019, 05:07:00 pm »




« Last Edit: March 01, 2019, 05:09:06 pm by MayorHaggar »
Quote
Quote from: Mr.DeMartino on Yesterday at 01:40:32 PM

    Trump is a liar and a con man.


  • macteacher
  • Expert Waygook

    • 678

    • September 03, 2012, 09:59:00 am
    • south korea
Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #710 on: March 01, 2019, 05:24:41 pm »

i hope the dialog is shifting away from china. parents here should be ashamed for throwing away their childrens futures. Blaming an external source that one canít do much with is childish at best. Everyday I see the highways along the Han river, filled with cars (including old diesel ones) 24/7. Other cities have done things to mitigate locally produced pullution, including restructering traffic (hmm how about strictly enforcing parking laws so people donít drive a block for milk and park in a crosswalk).

There was an article last year that stated that the government has been subsidizing electricity to the extent that itís cheaper to run electric heaters than ondol, or that itís made plant nurseries possible in the countryside. All that extra electricity usage contributes to the local pollution. Foreigners canít be political, korea stand up.

There was supposed to be a study on how much korean exported manufactoring to china contributes to the drifting pollution. Iíd like to see it if it has concluded.


  • jimskins
  • Adventurer

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    • July 02, 2014, 12:34:19 pm
    • Paju
Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #711 on: March 01, 2019, 05:40:39 pm »

i hope the dialog is shifting away from china. parents here should be ashamed for throwing away their childrens futures. Blaming an external source that one canít do much with is childish at best. Everyday I see the highways along the Han river, filled with cars (including old diesel ones) 24/7. Other cities have done things to mitigate locally produced pullution, including restructering traffic (hmm how about strictly enforcing parking laws so people donít drive a block for milk and park in a crosswalk).

There was an article last year that stated that the government has been subsidizing electricity to the extent that itís cheaper to run electric heaters than ondol, or that itís made plant nurseries possible in the countryside. All that extra electricity usage contributes to the local pollution. Foreigners canít be political, korea stand up.

There was supposed to be a study on how much korean exported manufactoring to china contributes to the drifting pollution. Iíd like to see it if it has concluded.

^ This x10


Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #712 on: March 01, 2019, 06:03:57 pm »
This February has been the worst. Even down here in the south. Last night it was around 280, I got a warning sms from the government. Still about 190. All weekend and next week its forecasted to stay in the red.

It used to be bad in specific, predictable periods and then the odd really bad day here and there. Now its weeks and weeks of continuous red days with the odd yellow day in between. Cant remember the last green day. I spent 10 days in Japan in January and the blue skies were amazing. My mood lifted just from the clear air. I have 11 months left in this country. There are many reasons I'm leaving, but the worsening air pollution is in the top 3, especially having a kid. This isn't living.

isn't it?

after a decade, that's it.  i can imagine having children would be an extra incentive not to be hanging around, for the basic, it's getting worse.  i started noticing it getting worse five or so years ago, about the time that yellow dust season started to become obsolete.  we have three day weekend now, and normally, I'd be hiking every day for a couple of hours.  since I came back from holiday on the 8th February, I could go hiking twice.  it is so depressing and can't continue.  whenever I talk to my mum, she says, 'well, aren't there environmental groups who are campaigning about this'.  i'm sure there are, but the fact it's getting worse would suggest they're having zero effect on any government policy.   


  • Cyanea
  • Hero of Waygookistan

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    • September 04, 2016, 01:48:24 pm
    • Las Vegas
Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #713 on: March 01, 2019, 07:18:22 pm »
Apparently they have put a ban on diesel vehicles as from a week ago.

Quote
Emergency anti-pollution measures enforced nationwide for first time

Feb.22,2019

Any diesel vehicles produced before 2008 are banned from driving in 16 cities and provinces nationwide, including the Seoul metropolitan area, from 6 am to 9 pm.

http://www.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_national/883249.html

Although Koreans replace their cars every 3 years, so I struggle to see how banning ten-year old cars will have any effect.
Catch my drift?


Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #714 on: March 01, 2019, 07:35:09 pm »
Where's that fool who was claiming that there was no pollution in South Korea and that Japan and the US are way worse?

And here's how to read laws in Asia:

Quote
Any diesel vehicles produced before 2008 are "banned" from driving in 16 cities and provinces nationwide, including the Seoul metropolitan area, from 6 am to 9 pm.
Quote
Quote from: Mr.DeMartino on Yesterday at 01:40:32 PM

    Trump is a liar and a con man.


  • SanderB
  • Super Waygook

    • 308

    • June 02, 2018, 06:25:54 pm
Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #715 on: March 01, 2019, 09:57:57 pm »
 :sad:

I'm sorry to hear you guys are all feeling the effects of these severe pollution clouds. If you are wondering whether it is Yellow Dust or not: These past few days there has not been any.
 This website shows you when there is yellow dust, I used that to decide whether to stay indoors or not. https://www.jma.go.jp/en/kosafcst/

To give you a bit of solace, even in Europe the air pollution has increased but because there is more wind it gets blown away after a few days.
green everything


Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #716 on: March 02, 2019, 05:39:43 am »
Worrying about yellow dust is pretty pointless when the pollution levels are ridiculously high the other 95% of the year. Most years the yellow dust lasts for like 3 days and isn't bad enough to stay inside. Also you always get a lot of foreigners who mistake pine tree pollen for yellow dust.

Getting concerned about yellow dust plays into the Korean mind games where they call smog/pollution "fine dust" and conflate it with seasonal natural yellow dust rather than acknowledging the fact that 95% of the year they are breathing in man-made pollution largely caused by Korean sources like coal plants and unregulated factories and cars/trucks.
Quote
Quote from: Mr.DeMartino on Yesterday at 01:40:32 PM

    Trump is a liar and a con man.


  • gogators!
  • The Legend

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    • March 16, 2016, 04:35:48 pm
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Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #717 on: March 02, 2019, 06:52:03 am »
Everyone looking for an alternative to ESL--open a health club with certified pure air. Or start a company that builds enclosures with piped-in air for all the outdoor exercise equipment the government is always buying.

Or an oxygen bar like the ones in Vegas. I threw that in for you know who.  ;D


  • SanderB
  • Super Waygook

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    • June 02, 2018, 06:25:54 pm
Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #718 on: March 02, 2019, 06:58:47 am »
Yeah, I still get a burning sensation in my lungs whenever a diesel or scooter passes me. None of my friends have that, so it's probably caused by my daily jogging in Seoul air because it feels the same. Silly me, thinking that pollution wasn't such a big problem when I was in Korea. Somehow you only notice it once you are back in clean air.

You guys have big air purifiers right?  Mine used to get dark black within 6 months, here in Holland it's still white/greyish after 2 years of daily use.
green everything


  • Lazio
  • Veteran

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    • January 27, 2018, 03:56:10 pm
    • Gyeongi-do
Re: Air pollution - bad enough to leave Korea?
« Reply #719 on: March 02, 2019, 10:20:58 am »
Apparently they have put a ban on diesel vehicles as from a week ago.

Quote
Emergency anti-pollution measures enforced nationwide for first time

Feb.22,2019

Any diesel vehicles produced before 2008 are banned from driving in 16 cities and provinces nationwide, including the Seoul metropolitan area, from 6 am to 9 pm.

http://www.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_national/883249.html

Although Koreans replace their cars every 3 years, so I struggle to see how banning ten-year old cars will have any effect.

There are plenty of old diesel vehicles. Literally all the old SUVs, Carnivals, Bongo/Porter trucks are diesel. And lots of those are from pre 2008. The problem is -like most other laws in Korea - nobody is enforcing it so people don't give a shit.