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(local time)SEE WORLD AQI RANKING
live AQI index
|Air pollution level
|Air quality index
| 88 US AQI
PM2.5 concentration in Asan is currently 6 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Saturday, Mar 2
Moderate 87 AQI US
|Sunday, Mar 3
Unhealthy 160 AQI US
|Monday, Mar 4
Unhealthy 159 AQI US
Moderate 88 AQI US
|Wednesday, Mar 6
Moderate 56 AQI US
|Thursday, Mar 7
Moderate 58 AQI US
|Friday, Mar 8
Moderate 58 AQI US
|Saturday, Mar 9
Moderate 59 AQI US
|Sunday, Mar 10
Moderate 62 AQI US
|Monday, Mar 11
Moderate 70 AQI US
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Asan is a city in South Chungcheong Province, South Korea. It is adjacent to the Seoul metropolitan area on its northern boundary. According to a 2013 census, Asan had a population of approximately 308,000 people. Although this cannot be looked upon as being accurate as it has merged with the adjoining town of Onyang-dong. It is primarily known for the proliferation of hot springs and spas nearby. Two of South Korea’s behemoth companies have factories in Asan, namely Hyundai and Samsung. There is a total of 14 industrial complexes within the area and the Port of Pyeongtaek is close by which is the nearest port to the east coast of China.
Towards the middle of 2021, Asan was experiencing a period of air quality that was classified as being “Unhealthy for sensitive groups” with a US AQI figure of 111. This placed it as the 8th dirtiest city in South Korea at that time. This United States Air Quality Index number is an internationally used set of metrics supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and is used to compare air quality in different cities throughout the world using comparable standards. It is calculated by using the levels of the six most commonly found pollutants. If not all figures are available, the figure is calculated using what information is there. In the case of Asan, only PM2.5 was recorded which was 39.4 µg/m³. This figure is quoted in micrograms/microns per cubic metre. At almost 40 µg/m³, the level is almost 4 times higher than the permitted level as suggested by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
With a level as poor as this, the advice is to stay indoors as much as possible and to close doors and windows to prevent the ingress of more polluted air. Those of a sensitive disposition should avoid venturing outside until the quality improves. Outdoor exercise is not recommended for anyone at this level and the use of an air purifier would be very beneficial if one is available.
Looking back at the figures released by the Swiss air monitoring company, IQAir.com for 2020, for 11 months of the year, Asan enjoyed “Moderate” air quality with figures between 12.1 and 35.4 µg/m³. The only month when the quality was not as good was during January when the figures put it into the “Unhealthy for sensitive groups” classification with a 37.6 µg/m³ reading.
Records were first kept in 2017 when the level was recorded as being 26.8 µg/m³. The following year showed a slight improvement with a 26 µg/m³ figure. Unfortunately, in 2019 it slipped down to 31 µg/m³ before showing signs of improvement in 2020 with a 25.1 µg/m³ reading. However, this may not be a truly accurate reflection of reality because of the restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many vehicles were no longer used as the drivers were furloughed and not required to commute to and from work. There were also many factories and other non-essential production units which were temporarily closed in an attempt to prevent the spread of the virus.
Since the Industrial Revolution, humans have used a lot of fossil fuels and achieved material abundance through industrialisation, but the extensive use of fossil fuels has caused various environmental problems. Environmental problems arising from the use of fossil fuels include air pollution, acid rain, environmental damage caused by oil spill accidents and global warming.
Burning fossil fuels produces harmful pollutants such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides, and hydrocarbons, which pollute the air and harm our health. Dust in the air, including fine dust, also causes air pollution, and nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons combine due to the sunlight in the air to cause smog. Carbon monoxide, a major source of emissions from automobiles, is a gas produced when fossil fuels are not fully burned, causing headaches and additional stress for people with heart disease.
Spring has also started this year with a fine dust advisory warning. Fine dust is air pollution that occurs all year round. However, in March-May, when air stagnation is frequent, air pollutants are often trapped without circulation, and as the monsoon changes to the southwest wind, external pollution from inland China is added, causing the most severe damage of the year. In addition, as yellow dust, a representative air pollution phenomenon on the Korean Peninsula caused by external influences, accompanies the spring season, awareness of fine dust air pollution damage in Korean society is heightened even more.
Due to the fact that the cause of fine dust is influenced by foreign sources/pollution sources as well as domestic factors, our society is holding China responsible for having a large-scale pollution source for a long time. This public sentiment was also reflected in the common diplomatic pledge of all presidential candidates to cooperate with China to solve the fine dust problem during the 19th presidential election in 2017.
Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), which is released when fuel is burned in automobiles and thermal power plants, is the main culprit of air pollution, and a study has found that nitrogen dioxide is associated with the development of Parkinson's disease, a degenerative brain disease. This is the first study in Korea to prove the correlation between nitrogen dioxide, an air pollutant, and Parkinson's disease, based on a large population, at a time when theories have been raised that air pollution, which has been raised as a social problem, can cause brain diseases.
Microscopic pollutants in the air can slip past our body’s defences, penetrating deep into our respiratory and circulatory system, damaging our lungs, heart and brain.
The brain starts developing weeks after conception, and like the rest of the body, continues to change throughout the rest of life, facing the threat of many environmental hazards — whether old, new, unknown or unregulated. For instance, the effects of lead and mercury on the brain have been known for decades and still present a large global health problem. Many pesticides are neurotoxic, and yet remain available for use. Recent evidence suggests that fluoride, a compound used in public water supplies to reduce tooth decay, may also be neurotoxic.