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Seoul Subway Polluted with Micro Dust


clock03-28-2010, 11:17 PM
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Subway Polluted With Micro Dust

10 May 2005

Korea Times



Subway carriages in Seoul City were found contaminated with a quantity of micro dust exceeding the advisable level.



The finding has alarmed environment authorities that are concerned with improving the air quality in the capital where around 10 million commuters a day depend on the subway.



Park Dong-uk, environment and health professor at Korea National Open University, on Monday released the results of his study entitled "Characterization of PM10 and PM2.5 levels inside subway trains and on platforms." The report showed that the concentration of micro dust and carbon dioxide were much higher than the maximum level recommended for interior air as designated by the atmosphere control law set by the Ministry of Environment.



The study was conducted in January on the concentration of fine dust, called PM10, and finer dust, PM2.5, and carbon dioxide, both on subway platforms and the inside trains traveling on subway lines 1, 2, 4 and 5 in Seoul.



The study showed an average PM10 inside the coaches in subway line 1 stood at 207.5 micrograms per cubic meters, far exceeding the maximum of 150 micrograms per cubic meters of PM10 permitted.



On subway line 2 and 4, the average concentration of fine dust inside coaches were lower than the maximum permissible level with 144.3 per cubic meters and 143.8 per cubic meters, respectively. But the 37.9 percent at between-station sections in line 2 and 63.2 percent in line 4 exceeded the maximum level, indicating that subway authorities should come up with urgent countermeasures.



The concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5 on platforms were found to be lower than inside carriages in all four lines, but those figures were also higher than the average concentration of outside air, ranging from 35 per cubic meters to 81 per cubic meters. There results for line number 5 were not significant.



In addition, the report said that most of the PM10 found on platforms and in subway carriages were found to be PM2.5, which medical experts say causes more respiratory and cardiac disorders than PM10.



The concentration of carbon hydrate were ranged from 1,153 to 3,377 ppm in every line, exceeding 1,000 ppm of maximum permissible level, the report added.



"The study was conducted between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. and we expect the figure is higher in the morning when more people are commuting," Park said.



"The subway authorities should come up with concrete measures to reduce hazardous air in the subway.



"As most of the dust comes in through the entrance, exit and ventilation facilities of the subway system, the authorities should equip a filter in those places to prevent the dust from entering the carriages and platforms. In particular, more advanced filters are required, as ordinary ones do not block smaller PM2.5," he said.



In response, the Seoul Metropolitan Subway Corporation, the operator of subway lines 1 to 4, said they are working hard to address the issue, but expressed some difficulty with the large amount of budget necessary to make the improvements.



"A complete solution should come with a substantial budget increase as we need to overhaul the whole structure of the subway system of lines 1 to 4, as it was built over 20 years ago without ventilation considerations," an SMSC official said.



Another SMSC official, the environment director Kang Hoo-joong, said the corporation, however, is working hard to solve the matter within their budget.



"We are aware of the problem and as long as the budget allows, we will try our best to address the issue, by introducing new ventilation technologies," he said.
clock07-07-2012, 06:08 PM
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