Seoul, Beijing to develop new smog forecast modelUpdated: 2014-02-28 AM 6:38:11 (KST)
"As a mother, it's been really challenging keeping the house clean with fine dust particles everywhere. My skin also gets irritated when I go outside."
"I usually enjoy outdoor activities, but nowadays I try to stay inside unless it's important. It's been a little boring."
They can feel it, breathe it and taste it, and they are not happy.
The heavy, drowning smog from China that has blanketed most of Korea over the past week continued Thursday.
An air pollution warning imposed by the government was finally lifted in the afternoon after 75 hours, which makes it the longest warning ever.
At its highest level, the concentration of fine dust stood at over 170 micrograms per cubic meter.
That's nearly triple the amount recommended by the government as being safe.
The polluted skies have forced the elderly and the young to stay inside as the toxic particles can cause respiratory problems and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases.
One local hospital in the southern part of Seoul has reported a 20 to 30 percent increase in respiratory patients over the past week.
"I have been coughing really bad for the past couple days. I've even started to cough up yellow phlegm. So I now wear these masks and carry some in my bag as replacements."
To better monitor and forecast air pollution in the future, Korea has turned to China for help.
Environment Minister Yoon Seong-kyu says Korea will jointly develop a new forecast model with Beijing to better prepare citizens for fine dust waves headed for Korea.
Once it's up and running, the government will be able to use the data collected to improve the accuracy of its forecasts.
The concentration of fine dust has dropped back to normal levels on this Friday, but the Korea Meteorological Administration says poor air quality is expected to be a recurring problem as the annual yellow dust season nears.
Shin Se-min, Arirang News.
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