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Toxic Fog in Gimpo

Toxic smog in Gimpo

Better get a gas mask! Seoul and the rest of South Korea has been blanketed with yet another wave of toxic smog full of ultrafine dust from China, and the Korean government has issued warnings to stay indoors, especially the elderly, children, and those with respiratory or heart problems. While China is normally seen as the primary culprit, Korean factories and automobiles are also to blame. Korean and Chinese governments are taking steps to address the issue, but it appears to be only getting worse and more persistent.

Inside my morning bus. The bus driver could hardly see while driving 20mph.

Inside my morning bus. The bus driver could hardly see while driving 20mph.

This problem of toxic smog has become so incessant that the Korean Meterological Association (KMA) began including fine-dust forecast as part of its daily weather report. Starting next year it will also start to forecast daily levels of particulate matter concentrations. Unfortunately, merely gauging pollution levels will not solve the problem. China has been hit by record levels of pollution, and for nearly a week fifteen percent of China has been cloaked with toxic smog. Korea is expected to endure it until rains arrive this Wednesday and Thursday. I dislike rain, but this rain I honestly look forward to.

In the countryside

In the countryside

One comment on “toxiCITY

  1. Mitzie Mee
    March 4, 2014

    That’s really scary news. I didn’t know it could be that bad (regarding smog and toxic fumes) in Korea. I’ve been planning a trip to Seoul later this year, I’d better bring a mask or two:)

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“Experience, travel – these are as education in themselves.”

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