Fine dust particles in major Korean cities exceed the maximum level recommended by the World Health Organization. According to a survey of the concentration of dust particles of 10 ㎛ or less in 1,081 cities around the world, the WHO said Monday the concentration of airborne dust particles in Seoul, Busan and other major Korean cities is 50-99 ㎍ per cubic meter on annual average, far exceeding the recommended limit of 20 ㎍.
The air quality survey was conducted for the first time by the WHO in cities with more than 100,000 residents in 91 countries.
The southwestern Iranian city of Ahvaz had the highest measured fine dust concentration of 372 ㎍ per cubic meter on annual average. Next came the Mongolian capital of Ulan Bator (279 ㎍) and the western Iranian city of Sanandaj (254 ㎍).
Other cities with serious dust density levels include Quetta in Pakistan, Kanpur in India, and Gaborone, the capital city of Botswana.
But North American cities where population density is low, weather conditions are good, and tight air pollution regulations are imposed, enjoy good air quality. The fine dust density in Washington, D.C. was 18 ㎍ per cubic meter, less than the recommended maximum. That in Tokyo and Paris was 23 ㎍ per cubic meter and 38 ㎍ per cubic meter, respectively.
Fine dust can cause a heart failure, lung cancer, asthma, or respiratory infections if it permeates the lungs and is carried into the blood stream, the WHO warned.