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Yellow Dust – Hwangsa

Well, as you are always told by Koreans, there are 4 distinct seasons here. Sadly, one of those 4 is yellow dust season. It comes for about 2 months, and is quite dangerous. Basically, this is a historic weather pattern that has existed for as long as Koreans can remember. The spring winds blow across the Gobi desert of Mongolia picking up particles and dumping them on the coast of China, Korea and Japan. Sadly, as time and China go on, the Gobi gets bigger and now those dust particles are just the right size to pick up air borne pollutants and carry them right into your lungs.

This is stolen from the government site, but should be read.

Advisory
Advisory is issued when the hourly averaged dust(PM10) concentration is expected to exceed 400㎛/㎡ for over 2 hours.

  • Outdoor activities for the old, the young and those with respiratory diseases are prohibited.
  • Kindergarden and elementary school students are staying at home and are prohibited from outdoor activities.
  • Everybody is prohibited from heavy outdoor exercises.
Warning
Warning is issued when the hourly averaged dust(PM10) concentration is expected to exceed 800 ㎛/㎡ for over 2hours.

  • THe old, the young, and those with respiratory diseases are prohibited from going outside.
  • Kindergarden and elementary school students are prohibited from outdoor activities and their class should be dismissed
  • Everybody is prohibited from outdoor activities.
  • Outdoor sports event should be rescheduled.
Me again. At 800 parts per million the old and young are ‘prohibited from going outside’. That is pretty damn serious. I’m still young, so I’m gonna follow their advice. If we take a look at the last 3 days we’ll see something interesting.
The various colours represent cities in Korea. Check here to see their site. If you look you’ll notice that we peaked at over 500 on the 16th in one city, and pretty damn close to 400 in every city. I jog everyday. I didn’t know about this, as we didn’t quite hit the warning level, but still, damage could be done. Now, let’s look at the forcast for the next few days.
Now we see that this nasty MFer is heading right towards us, and is rated over 2000 parts per million. Remembering that 800 ppm means that you shouldn’t go outside, what exactly is this nasty bastard gonna do to your lungs?
My point here is that you should keep an eye on the yellow dust forcast button we’ve got on the main page. It could make a difference in your life. Ajumma masks are silly looking, but they could very well become necessary this spring. The Korean word is “Mas-su-Kuh”.

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