SEOUL, Jan. 16 (Korea Bizwire) — With South Korea announcing its first emergency alert for the Greater Seoul Metropolitan Area amid a severe fine dust storm that has blanketed the country, many outdoor workers had to face the fine dust without proper protective gear.
Some did not even wear masks, because they were “no help to their work”.
“I am sweating all over right now. How can I wear a mask?” asked Hwang, an outdoor worker in Seoul. “Everybody says fine dust is bad, but I have to work, and wearing a mask does not help.”
Other outdoor workers insisting on wearing protective gear were still exposed to health risks.
“I always wear a mask whenever the fine dust hits the area,” said Kim, a security guard at a building in Seoul.
“Pollution seems to be getting worse these days. My eyes are getting sore, and I always get a runny nose despite the mask.”
The International Agency for Research on Cancer categorizes fine dust as a Group 1 carcinogenic agent.
“It’s cold during the winter, and I have to withstand fine dust,” said Ahn, an outdoor Yakult salesperson. “I wish the government would quickly come up with measures to deal with the fine dust for us outdoor workers.”
M. H. Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)