Air Pollution and Health Impacts in South Korea from 2010 to 2020

1500 words or longer(double-spaced pages, font size 12, Times New Roman)

A. identify an issue (write a research topic and detail the issue) B. refine a research question (a specific question) C. draft an outline (for introduction) D. elaborate the importance of this question which clarifies a loophole (background and academic contribution) E. make your argument and describe your thoughts on issues F. support the argument with at least five different academic sources (e.g., ecological, social, and technological backgrounds) and support your research topic in relating sources to the topic G. concluding with alternative proposals

The topic is already been chosen, please see the topic and outline below to expand this research paper. Please use specific data to support this paper.

Topic: Air Pollution and Health Impacts in South Korea from 2010 to 2020

In this paper, the research topic focuses on determining the impact of air pollution on

public health in South Korea from 2010 to 2020. Air pollution is a major health concern in South

Korea and the globe. It leads to individuals being exposed to high levels of toxicants in the

atmosphere. This adversely impacts their health as everyone is prone to contracting various

infections. Therefore, exposure to air pollutants leads to both short and long term health effects

on an individual. It is more severe for those with already existing sickness, especially chronic.

Research Question

How do the current patterns of air pollution contribute to various public health issues in South



Air pollution in South Korea continues to worsen, and this highly impacts the citizens’

wellbeing. It is a result of diverse factors that narrow down to human actions. This has a

toxicological effect on health and the environment. Further, it has led to the progression of



various diseases in South Korea, including asthma, ventricular hypertrophy, Parkinson’s diseases,

psychological complications, among others.

Research Question Significance

The research question is essential for the study as it provides a significant platform in

studying public health issues and how air pollution has contributed to such. Human actions,

especially in the industrialization sector, have led to the increased release of toxicants into the

atmosphere. Also, poor regulation of various emissions by the relevant authorities and policies

has led to the worsening of the air pollution levels and issues. In South Korea, Seoul city is

among the major cities with the highest air population rates, as depicted by NASA.

Major Air Pollution Causes in South Korea

In Korea, air quality is monitored for six pollutants: PM10, PM2.5, O3, NO2, SO2, and

CO (NASA,2016). Compare to other pollutants, particulate matter (PM), especially particles

smaller than 2.5 microns, are more easily to be inhale by human and deeply into their lungs and

thus present much greater threats to public health and respiratory problems. This paper will use

particulate matter as measurement to identify the air pollution causes in South Korea. According

to Donald (2019), South Korea’s increasing air pollution is due to the increased spreading of

yellow clouds of dust from China. The massive production and manufacturing factories and coal-

fired power plants emit more dust, thus polluting the air in South Korea. Park and Han (2014)

estimate that the long-range transport of air pollutants from China accounts for approximately

2630 percent of annual PM10 in South Korea, respectively. Secondly, the high traffics,

factories, and power plants in South Korea lead to the emission of unpurified and hazardous

gases into the air, thus causing the pollution increment (Hermes, 2012). Further, fossil fuel



combustion enhances the air pollution component (Oh, Yoo & Yoo, 2019). Also, the Asian dust

storms and prevailing winds, especially during the dry season, lead to an increase in air

pollutants. This causes the majority of the high morbidity and mortality rates relating to

respiratory aspects (Park, Yoon, Na & Song, 2015).

Public health issues caused by air pollution

The World Health Organization has estimated that the number of mortality caused by air

pollution close to about 7 million people (WHO,2014). For example, exposure to sulfur dioxide

causes chronic lung disease and respiratory disorders. Exposure to ozone and particulate matter

are associated with the occurrence of the respiratory and circulatory diseases and increase in

mortality (Pope, 2002). According to Leem, Kim & Kim (2015), in 2010, air pollution caused

15.9% of total mortality or approximately 15,346 attributable cases per year in the Seoul

metropolitan area. Particulate air pollution also accounted for: 12,511 hospitalized cases of

respiratory disease; 20,490 new cases of chronic bronchitis (adults); 278,346 episodes of acute

bronchitis (children).

Proposed Alternatives

Potential alternatives to reduce health impacts and air pollution include wearing pollution

masks (Rafaj et al., 2018). Secondly, it consists of the purchasing of air purifiers and installation

both at home and in cars. It is a long-term solution, although it can be quite expensive for middle

and low-class households (Trnka, 2020). Lastly, governmental policies and regulations will assist

in cleaning the air through the provision of modern purification systems (Chinn & Sehulster,

2019). This also includes the regulation of gases used in vehicles and inspection of

industrialization processes and emissions (Oh, Yoo & Yoo, 2019).




Chinn, R. Y., & Sehulster, L. (2019). Guidelines for environmental infection control in health-

care facilities; recommendations of CDC and Healthcare Infection Control Practices

Advisory Committee (HICPAC)

Donald, K. (2019). Chinese Yellow Dust Or Korean Factory Fumes? NASA Teams Cruise For

Clues. Forbes

Hermes, J. (2012). How Traffic Jams Affect Air Quality. Environmental Leader, Inc.

Oh, I., Yoo, W. J., & Yoo, Y. (2019). Impact and Interactions of Policies for Mitigation of Air

Pollutants and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Korea. International journal of

environmental research and public health, 16(7), 1161.

Park, J. O., Yoon, S., Na, M. H., & Song, H. C. (2015). The effects of air pollution on mortality

in South Korea. Procedia Environmental Sciences, 26, 62-65. doi:10.1016/


Rafaj, P., Kiesewetter, G., Gl, T., Schpp, W., Cofala, J., Klimont, Z., … & Cozzi, L. (2018).

Outlook for clean air in the context of sustainable development goals. Global

Environmental Change, 53, 1-11.

Trnka, D. (2020). Policies, regulatory framework, and enforcement for air quality management:

The case of Korea. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

NASA. (2016). KORUS-AQ: An International Cooperative Air Quality Field Study in Korea.

KORUS-AQ, 140,

Park R., Han G. (2014). Contribution of long-range transported air pollution from China to

particulate matter over Korean peninsula. Magazine of KOSHAM, 14(2), 2636.



WHO (World Health Organization) (2014). Burden of disease from the joint effects of

Household and Ambient Air Pollution for 2012. Geneva, Switzerland

Pope CA 3rd. Burnette RT, Thun MJ, Calle EE, Krewski D, Ito K, Thurston GD. (2002). Lung

cancer, cardiopulmonary mortality, and longterm exposure to find particulate air

pollution. JAMA. 207:1132-1141.

Leem, J. H., Kim, S. T., & Kim, H. C. (2015). Public-health impact of outdoor air pollution for

2(nd) air pollution management policy in Seoul metropolitan area, Korea. Annals of

occupational and environmental medicine, 27, 7.



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