Rising Levels of Hazardous Fine Dust Pollution

Shot by taylorandayumi via Wikimedia Commons
Fine Dust Korea
Shot by taylorandayumi via Wikimedia Commons

Pollution and fine dust particle levels in South Korea continue to pose a serious health hazard to residents. The 1st quarter of 2015 has seen some of the worst yellow dust pollution levels in years. The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and Anjou University have released a report this week that explains how fine dust levels have factored into the deaths of over 15,000 adults over the age of 30 who reside in Seoul/Gyeonggi Province in 2010. This accounts for over 15% of all deaths for that demographic annually. The report also noted that fine dust was responsible for an increase in hospitalizations among all age groups with the number of patients visiting the hospital with respiratory complications well over 55,000. Fine dust is identified as particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter (PM-10). Once these particles enter the body they can cause many problems from respiratory to central nervous system complications. The research team reported that if current pollution levels are not reduced, the number of these deaths could stretch beyond 25,000 people annually by 2024.

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