*cough cough … sneeze* Yep… last week the Yellow Dust made its way down to Busan and was a little gross. As far as I am aware this doesn’t always happen this far south I’ve only heard about it being a problem if you are in Seoul and surrounds as it is a much more prevalent feature there during its peak. It occurs in Spring for a few weeks when the winds blow the dust/sand from Mongolia and China across to the rest of Asia. I knew about it before coming here because I had watched a video on Yellow Dust Eat Your Kimchi YouTube channel but didn’t know really know what it would be like until I came here… and I’m not a huge fan of it, that’s for sure.
It wasn’t overly bad here but it was enough that I noticed it to take a photo and the levels did reach quite high in Busan for a day. What was quite cool was that with the location settings switched on for my mobile my Google Now sent me notifications of the air quality to advise of the poor levels. 4th Industrial Revolution for the win folks… (I’m totally doing a blogpost on this soon by the way)
According to Wikipedia, every good Uni students best friend, Yellow Dust or Asian Dust “is a seasonal meteorological phenomenon which affects much of East Asia sporadically during the months of spring”. It is a problem mainly because it now picks up industrial pollutants and particles as it travels across Asia and has been known to cause a number of medical problems.
If you are in an area where dust levels are high you can wear a face mask. A friend and I were out on Saturday night and we picked up our super fashionable blue masks at a convenience store for about 3000W or $3.50AU so not very expensive at all and, psychosomatically or not, it actually worked and made me feel better.
Some friends of mine went to Seoul for a weekend when the levels were particularly high (>180) and when they came home they had sore throats and no voice as well as itchy skin. I reacted with a small rash on my chest and throat irritation but am otherwise fine.
If you are concerned though you can go to the hospital or the doctors and ask for help and you may be given some antibiotics or other medications. Keep your fluids up and if the levels are consistently high probably be wise to wear a mask or stay inside when you can.