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Seasonal management system greatly reduces ultrafine dust particles: gov't

Politics 15:10 May 12, 2020

SEOUL, May 12 (Yonhap) -- The government's seasonal management system for air pollution has substantially contributed to reducing the volume of ultrafine dust particles in South Korea during this winter, the Ministry of Environment said Tuesday.

The ministry said the contribution rate of the seasonal management system to the reduction of ultrafine dust pollution nationwide is estimated to range from 18 to 34 percent in the December-March period.

External factors, including a decrease in the volume of ultrafine particles flowing in from China, contributed about 21 to 27 percent to lowering the nation's ultrafine dust density, the ministry noted.

Under the seasonal management system, introduced in December, the operation of dilapidated diesel vehicles, coal plants, construction sites and other large emitters are restricted, while roadside cleaning is strengthened and parking fees are increased at public car parks during the winter months.

This file photo taken Feb. 27, 2020, shows mask-wearing citizens walking in downtown Seoul under a clean sky. (Yonhap)

The government said last month that the nation's ultrafine dust particles decreased 27 percent this winter, thanks to the new seasonal management system, decreased industrial activities due to the new coronavirus outbreak and other factors.

According to the ministry, the enforcement of the seasonal management policy resulted in reducing the nation's average density of ultrafine dust particles by 1.9 micrograms per cubic meter.

It also estimated that favorable weather conditions at home and reductions in ultrafine particles flowing in from China and other countries also helped lower the national average by 3 micrograms and 1.1 micrograms, respectively, to 2.8 micrograms Ultrafine particles are a class one carcinogen.

Notably, the nation's average ultrafine dust density fell by 13.6 micrograms from February and March, when the nation was struggling to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, the ministry explained, adding increases in precipitation and the number of days of clean easterly wind also contributed to improving the air quality.


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