You might have seen a murky sky when you left home in recent years. Fine dust, which is the cause of this phenomenon, is getting worse every day. In January, Seoul released ‘Fine Dust Emergency Reduction Measures’ three times. To reduce fine dust, they provided free-of-charge public transportation and implemented a 'alternative-day-no-driving system.' So where does the fine dust that hit our country come from?
Fine dust consists of small particles that are invisible to our eyes and is created in several ways. Natural sources are soil, pollen, etc, and artificial sources are car exhaust fumes, exhaust gas from fossil fuels, and so forth. Among these, the major cause of fine dust is artificial sources. Because of the use of heating, the volume of fine dust increases rapidly in winter. Fine dust from China also affects our country. Yellow dust from the desert of Mongolia meets with harmful substances in China and it becomes fine dust. It flows into Korea on the westerlies and the amount of it varies according to the atmospheric conditions. According to the National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) and KORUS-AQ report, the effect of fine dust from China on Korea accounts for about 34% of the total fine dust in Korea on average.
It is invisible but threatens our health. In fact, many people know that the problem of fine dust is serious because they feel symptoms such as a cough, sore throat and so on. A survey conducted by Trend Monitor, a market research business, showed that more than half of survey respondents felt that there was a lot of fine dust. World Health Organization (WHO) designated fine dust as a class one carcinogen. It is so small that it cannot be filtered from the mouth or nose and enters the respiratory system. When they accumulate in the bronchial tube, you can have frequent coughs. Also, fine dust moved through the alveoli penetrates the blood vessel and it can lead to angina or stroke. To avoid damage caused by fine dust, you should check the concentration of fine dust and try to stay inside when concentration is high. You should use a special mask with a fine dust block effect when you go out. And it is good for you to drink water frequently. After going out, you should wash your hands and feet right away in order to remove fine dust left on your body.
According to the WHO, over 700,000 people fell to premature death due to fine dust in 2014. Fine dust is now a risk factor which we cannot ignore. Therefore, along with the government's efforts to reduce fine dust, every citizen should recognize the seriousness of fine dust and need to prepare measures to protect themselves against it.