The Recent Find Dust: Ready for Spring as well as Fine Dust 국민리뷰 보기

 

The Recent Find Dust

Ready for Spring as well as Fine Dust

Hyun-Wook Roh
Guest Reporter

 Until a recent date, springtime dust in the air has made people not just be annoyed with their health but also feel uncomfortable about their leisure life. Unfortunate is the fact that many Koreans have to face this annual seasonal phenomenon lasting for about two months. However, this year’s dust incident is much worse than the usual yellow dust. In the last 3 months, starting from New Year’s Day, every dust wind has carried a large number of ultrafine dust particles. This past January, the highest amount of fine dust particulates in Seoul was 190 micrograms per cubic meter, which was almost 4 times the annual permitted emission standard of minute particles. “I never imagined wearing a dust prevention mask in January and February. There is lots of fine dust this year,” said a Kookminian majoring in Advertising. Above all, recently this unpleasant wind with fine dust has come frequently. Then why does this unwanted visitor come so many times, and how has it gotten so much stronger than before?
Yellow dust or Asian dust is made up of sand particles from deserts in central parts of Asia. After the dust particles are formed, they then travel eastward by the prevailing winds. Through China and across the Yellow Sea the particulates flow into Korea, and then cause temporary air pollution creating a blurred atmosphere in an area. This springtime phenomenon causes people to cancel outdoor activities for health reasons, since the minute sand particles can trigger bronchitis, an illness having a bad cough. Regardless of health problems, some people do avoid going outside because the atmosphere with dust just doesn’t seem clean. “I finally left home two days ago. I felt cooped up being inside for a long time. It is really uncomfortable when the air is not clean. I think that was the reason why I could not go outside even though the recent weather was warm enough to have a walk,” a student at Ewha Women’s University said. In this sense, yellow dust can be an obstacle to going for a walk, indeed. However, wind with lots of fine dust is much more dangerous. While yellow dust consists mostly of sand particles, ultrafine dust contains a large amount of exhaust gasses and some fossil fuel residues. In other words, fine dust particulates are more critical to the human body.
Since this springtime phenomenon has a negative impact on humans, some people are curious about the truth concerning this fine dust. Unfortunately, the reason behind the frequency of the recent fine dust is quite unknown. How does the fine dust get so strong? This answer is probably found in the environmental control of East Asian countries. China has the tendency to depend on coal for household heating and, of course, for economic growth in Chinese manufacturing factories. Therefore, there is the possibility that numerous amounts of exhaust gasses are formed in China and then merge with the sand dust from central Asian deserts. However, Korea can also be responsible for this seasonal phenomenon. In other words, some Korean manufacturers have possibly made the same mistakes over controlling pollutants.
As yellow dust (or sometimes fine dust) is not a rare phenomenon in Korean springtime, we do not know exactly when it is going to happen. This means that some of you may inevitably go out when the atmosphere is not clean. For these possibilities, there are two types of tips in dealing with dust. The first one is about hygiene. When there is dust in the air, it is highly recommended that you wear a dust prevention mask while taking a walk. The mask will block the inflow of dust particulates into your body. Once you get to your place or home, it is recommended that you wash your hands to remove dust particles or to kill the germs. If you have enough time, taking a bath or a shower is also great. The second type of fine dust solution is regarding leisure time. In other words, if you have to go outside, try going to an entertainment complex for indoor leisure time. Even if you are not satisfied with the above suggestions, why not try to find out what you can do? Spring is a nice time for leisure which many people do not want to miss out on. So enjoy spring! But watch out for the fine dust!


saturn1689@kookmin.ac.k

 

 


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