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Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups|| 135 US AQI||PM2.5|
PM2.5 concentration in Jangseong air is currently 9.9 times above the WHO annual air quality guideline value
|Tuesday, May 24|
Moderate 75 US AQI
|Wednesday, May 25|
Moderate 64 US AQI
|Thursday, May 26|
Moderate 52 US AQI
|Friday, May 27|
Moderate 78 US AQI
Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups 135 US AQI
|Sunday, May 29|
Moderate 62 US AQI
|Monday, May 30|
Moderate 77 US AQI
|Tuesday, May 31|
Moderate 61 US AQI
|Wednesday, Jun 1|
Moderate 58 US AQI
|Thursday, Jun 2|
Moderate 58 US AQI
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Jangseong has shown some elevations in pollution through the last few years, and continues this trend well into 2021, albeit with some days having considerably better air quality than others. In late June of 2021, Jangseong was seen with a US AQI reading of 41, placing it in the ‘good’ air quality ratings bracket. This requires a US AQI reading of anywhere between 0 to 50 to be classified as such, and is color coded as green, for ease of use and navigation on the various air quality graphs, maps and forecasts present on this page and throughout the IQAir website.
Whilst this level of air pollution is not overtly detrimental to the health of many citizens in Jangseong, the PM2.5 count at the time the US AQI reading was taken was seen to be higher than the world health organization's (WHO's) exposure recommendation. Once again whilst it was not massively over the limit, any exposure to air pollution, particularly the fine particle ones such as PM2.5, has the chance to cause adverse health effects, and aggravate pre-existing symptoms in those who may suffer from them (with ones that fall into the cardiac or pulmonary variety being particularly susceptible to pollution based aggravation).
Forecasts for Jangseong remained most in the 'moderate' rating of pollution, which itself requires a US AQI reading of 51 to 100 to be classified as such. At this level, a majority of the general public would still be free to go about their day to day business with little respiratory irritation. However, some more vulnerable individuals may start to show less severe symptoms. These vulnerable, or at-risk groups of people would be ones such as the elderly, pregnant women, along with children, babies, and those with compromised immune systems of a hypersensitivity towards pollutants.
Causes of air pollution include ones such as emissions from cars and other larger freight vehicles, along with fumes from factories, power plants and other industrial areas contributing to the year round pollution elevations. Other causes of particle matter pollution would be ones such as construction sites, road repairs and demolition areas, all of which can release large amounts of fine particles in the air with a highly detrimental effect on the surrounding population.
As was shown over the course of 2020, Jangseong had several months of its year in which the PM2.5 count was noticeably higher, and it is during such times that vulnerable groups in the population, as well as the general public, would be more susceptible to particle related health problems, of which there are many, particularly when people are exposed to the significantly smaller sized PM2.5. Their minute size of 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter enables them to effectively penetrate deep into the tissue of the lungs, causing scarring, inflammation, higher risks of cancer, as well as crossing over into the bloodstream via the alveoli, or small air sacs in the lungs.
Referring back to the root causes, rising vehicle ownership is a worldwide concern, and is no different in South Korea, with cities such as Jangseong seeing a growing population size along with an accompanying rise in cars in use on the road.
The exhaust fumes from the combustion process can lead to large amounts of pollutants being released into the atmosphere, with ones such as nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide being particularly prevalent, with higher volumes of nitrogen dioxide found in the air often correlating directly with large amounts of traffic on the ground below.
Other causes of pollution can come from outside the country, with large amounts of power plants and industrial sites found on the far eastern side of China causing clouds of pollution to gather and be blown across the sea, causing rising PM2.5 levels across South Korea. Furthermore, dust storms coming from both China and Mongolia can also make their way over to Korea, affecting cities such as Seoul, as well as ones like Jangseong being hit particularly hard due to their western location, giving it a closer proximity to China and Mongolia.
In closing, with a growing economy and population size, many cities, Jangseong included, would see their pollution levels come from numerous combustion sources needed to fuel day to day activities, with the colder winter months requiring increase electricity usage from power plants, thus larger amounts of coal, diesel and natural gas are burnt through in order to supply such a demand. These are some of the many issues affecting the air quality in both Jangseong and Korea.
Observing the air quality on record over 2020, the months that came in with the highest level of PM2.5 were January through to March, as well as November and December. Their respective readings were 36.6 μg/m³, 30.1 μg/m³, 26.3 μg/m³ and 27.6 μg/m³, along with 27.4 μg/m³ and 32.4 μg/m³ at years end.
This placed January as the most polluted month of the year, indicating a pattern whereby pollution levels start to rise at the end of the year, and then continue on into the earlier months of the following year. January was the only months of the year to come in with a 'unhealthy for sensitive groups' rating, which requires a PM2.5 reading of 35.5 to 55.4 μg/m³.
The months that came in with the lowest levels of PM2.5, and thus having the least amount of pollution, smoke and haze permeating the atmosphere were ones such as July through to September, which presented with readings of 15.3 μg/m³, 18.7 μg/m³ and 17.6 μg/m³ respectively, making July the cleanest month of the year.
Other pollutants found in the air in Jangseong include the main air contaminants that go into making up the US AQI index. These include ozone (O3), sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), along with both PM2.5 and PM10, the two main forms of particle based pollution.
Other pollutants include ones such as black carbon, or soot, along with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), some of which include benzene, toluene and formaldehyde.