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Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups
|Air pollution level||Air quality index||Main pollutant|
|Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups|| 141 US AQI||PM2.5|
|PM2.5|| 52 µg/m³|
|pm10|| 75 µg/m³|
|o3|| 0 µg/m³|
|no2|| 35.7 µg/m³|
|so2|| 10.5 µg/m³|
|co|| 572.5 µg/m³|
|Thursday, Apr 8|
Moderate 59 US AQI
|Friday, Apr 9|
Moderate 57 US AQI
|Saturday, Apr 10|
Moderate 76 US AQI
|Sunday, Apr 11|
Moderate 97 US AQI
Moderate 52 US AQI
|Tuesday, Apr 13|
Moderate 59 US AQI
|Wednesday, Apr 14|
Good 48 US AQI
|Thursday, Apr 15|
Good 36 US AQI
|Friday, Apr 16|
Moderate 51 US AQI
|Saturday, Apr 17|
Moderate 58 US AQI
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Pyeongtaek is a city located in the south-western part of the Gyeonggi Province. It had an estimated population in 2019 of just over 500,000 people.
In early 2021, the quality of air was “Moderate” with a US AQI reading of 76. This classification is in line with suggested figures by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The recorded levels of the pollutants were as follows: PM2.5 - 24 µg/m³, PM10 - 32 µg/m³, ozone (O3) - 0 µg/m³, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) - 37.6 µg/m³, sulphur dioxide (SO2) - 9.2 µg/m³ and carbon monoxide (CO) - 458 µg/m³. With pollution at this level, the advice is to stay inside and close windows and doors to prevent the ingress of dirty air. Those of a sensitive disposition should avoid going outside until the air quality improves.
The main source of air pollution in Pyeongtaek is at the port of Dangjin. Poseung Industrial Complex with 10,000 workers and almost 9,000 residents are directly affected by the black smoke emitted by ships. This black smoke is one of the main factors of fine dust or PM2.5. Pyeongtaek Dangjin Port, the place suffering from the worst fine dust. Pyeongtaek Dangjin Port is regarded as the place with the worst air in the Gyeonggi area as well as nationwide as the situation of fine dust continues for more than 120 days a year. Pyeongtaek Dangjin Port is also the location of a very large industrial complex. This is also the reason that the supervisory authorities strictly manage the company's exhaust emissions on a daily basis. However, despite the fact that the regulations are followed, a huge amount of soot is being emitted in terms of the total amount of emissions. In addition, the coal-fired power plant in Chungnam is also adjacent, so it is truly a cradle of fine dust.
The smoke emitted from one large ship is equivalent to thousands of vehicles. The increase in logistics volume at Pyeongtaek Port is truly enormous. For 10 years, it has consistently maintained the top position in automobile imports and exports, the fourth in container volume, and the fifth in total cargo. It recorded the largest volume of cargo since the port opened, but ultimately, this inevitably raises concerns about environmental pollution.
Most Chinese ships use high-sulphur-containing fuel because it is a usually inexpensive fuel called bunker seed oil. In the case of these ships, the problem is that they not only enter and depart but are still idling for a long time. Black smoke can be seen emanating from several berthed vessels. Their emissions are difficult to regulate by law, it seems that from 2020, regulations will be made to use less than 0.5% of low-sulphur ship fuel by international agreements.
In 2019, the annual average figure was 29.4 µg/m³ which is classed as “Moderate” with figures between 12.1 and 35.4 µg/m³. During the first three months of the year when the weather was colder, the level was “Unhealthy for sensitive groups” with figures between 25.5 and 55.4 µg/m³. Looking back at previous years it can be seen that the air quality is marginally improving. The 2017 figure was 33.1 µg/m³ followed by the 2018 figure of 29.5 µg/m³. The 2019 figure was 29.4 µg/m³.
Due to the spread of Covid 19 in 2020 and the precautions taken to control its spread, the air quality in Pyeongtaek has improved significantly.
Pyeongtaek City announced that the average concentration of ultrafine dust PM 2.5 in the Pyeongtaek area from January to April 2020 was 25 µg/m³, which was 40 per cent lower than 42 µg/m³ in the same period in the previous year.
Another reason for an improvement is that the city converted four heavy oil generators from Korea Western Power near Pyeongtaek Dangjin Port to LNG, a clean fuel earlier that year, as part of a comprehensive plan for the reduction of fine dust. It was found that the amount of fine dust emitted from Western Power due to the conversion of generator fuel was 84 per cent lower from 143 tons per year to 22 tons.
The city plans to build two onshore power supply facilities (AMP) in Pyeongtaek Dangjin Port to reduce fine dust emitted from ships. AMP is equipment that draws electricity from the land and supplies it to a ship. With AMP, the ship at anchor does not have to run the generator through power maintenance.
In addition, Hyundai Steel in Dangjin, Chungcheongnam-do also completed the improvement of the three sintering furnace emission facilities, reducing air pollutants from 23,000 tons per year to 10,000 tons which equates to 57 per cent.
A raft of measures is to be introduced which will address the situation of fine PM2.5 particulate matter. These measures aim to reduce air pollution damage caused by fine dust and to protect the health of Pyeongtaek citizens from air pollution. Older vehicles which pollute the atmosphere due to the lack of emission controls and filters will be eventually scrapped.
A person who conducts business activities in Pyeongtaek City must actively prepare necessary measures such as improvement of the workplace environment and reduction of fuel consumption in order to prevent air pollution caused by such business activities. They must actively cooperate with the air environment conservation policies promoted.
In order to protect the health of the environmentally vulnerable classes, the mayor shall install fine dust reduction facilities in facilities such as day-care centres, kindergartens and elementary schools.
Exposure to fine dust can cause or worsen heart and lung-related diseases and consequently increase mortality. In the short term, symptoms such as asthma attacks, acute bronchitis, and arrhythmia are exacerbated, and long exposure to high concentrations of fine dust PM2.5 increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and lung cancer.
When fine dust enters the body, it promotes cellular ageing by supplying free radicals to various organs in the body. In addition, it promotes the inflammatory reaction and causes tissue damage. This action works throughout the body in the bloodstream, so the effect of fine dust can affect not only the respiratory system but also various organs of the body.