SEOUL, May 14 (Korea Bizwire) — Air pollution was the No. 1 source of concern for South Koreans last year amid a worsening level of fine dust in the country, a report showed Monday.
Air pollution scored 3.46 points out of 5 — the highest in the survey — among factors that cause concern to the respondents, according to the report by the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs. The survey was conducted on 3,839 Korean adults last year.
A weak economy came in second with 3.38 points, followed by aging and water pollution with 3.31 and 3.29 points, respectively, it said.
Natural disasters were one of the lowest ranked, with floods and typhoons scoring 2.63, and earthquakes and tsunamis earning 2.64 points, according to the report.
The institute attributed the concern over the environment to the rising fine dust level in the country and the controversy over the source of the air pollution.
Fine dust — particles smaller than 10 micrometers — can cause various respiratory ailments and undermine the body’s immune system.
“In terms of ecological issues, South Koreans regarded environmental issues as more relevant to their everyday lives than those related to natural disasters,” the report said.