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Fri Nov 1, 2013, 01:43 AM

Toxic Smog from China Engulfs Korea [View all]

Source: chosunilbo

Heavy smog blanketed Korea this week blown in by northwesterly winds from China. The concentration of ultrafine particles is often at its worst between December and March, with most of the smog comes from Beijing and surrounding Hebei Province.

On Thursday, the concentration of ultrafine particles in Dongducheon, Gyeonggi Province north of Seoul, reached 255㎍/㎥, five times the normal level in the region. It stood at 138 ㎍/㎥ in Incheon and 112㎍/㎥ in the capital.

The concentration of ultrafine particles in Dongducheon was 2.5 times greater than the safe level set by the Environment Ministry of 100㎍/㎥ per day.

Dust can cause asthma and other respiratory illnesses as well as cardiovascular diseases, but the most hazardous substance is ultrafine particles that are not filtered by the bronchial tubes and directly enter the lungs, where they can cause pneumonia.

Smog also contains toxic heavy metals such as lead, cadmium and arsenic. "Unlike sandstorms, smog contains various chemicals and heavy metals that react with the sunlight and multiply," said Chun Young-shin at the Korea Meteorological Administration.

It is difficult to predict smog levels since it is not clear where it originates and how many pollutants it contains. The Chinese government does not reveal data about the origin of pollutants, but the most polluted parts of China are along the east coast, which is near Korea.

Read more: http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2013/11/01/2013110101543.html

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