Yellow dust over Mongolia

Just a little info on the whole yellow sand thing. I've talked about it to some people at home, and I could tell by the looks on their faces that they totally thought I was exaggerating or just completely making it up. So here's your proof, mofos!

*This article reprinted without permission.*

from 51st Medical Group
Aerospace Medicine squadron

March through May on the Korean Peninsula brings a break between the winter-bearing Siberian air mass and the summer swelter that flows from Southern Asia. But, just to keep things interesting, spring in Korea also means yellow sand storms from the Gobi Desert in Northern China, Inner Mongolia and Manchuria.

These sand storms kick up huge clouds of dust that can travel all the way to Korea and Japan. When that happens, the Korean Meteorological Association's weather officials may issue "Asian Dust" or "Yellow Sand" health advisories, using a yellow-sand warning system. The level of warning depends on how much sand, measured by the number of dust particles, are in the air. For more information, visit USFK also monitors the Yellow sand and provides regular updates and recommendations throughout the day. You can access their information at:

Osan's Bioenvironmental Engineering, Public Health and Weather officials monitor the KMA and USFK sites and provide advisory updates throughout the day on the Commander's Access Channel as conditions warrant.

The health risks associated with yellow sand are minimal for most active duty members and their dependents. There is a small subset of personnel who are at higher risk from the yellow sand, namely individuals with pre-existing respiratory problems such as asthma, emphysema or other forms of chronic respiratory disease. These individuals may experience wheezing or shortness of breath with high dust levels. Individuals with seasonal allergies may also notice worsening of their allergy symptoms such as increased nasal congestion, eye irritation, coughing, phlegm and shortness of breath. If you or a family member has one of these conditions please check the Osan AB Commander's Access Chanel throughout the day, or the USFK website for an update as conditions frequently change.
The following measures can also help prevent development of symptoms associated with yellow sand: · Consider limiting outdoor activities when high dust levels are present · Wear glasses instead of contacts · Close windows · Wash exposed skin after returning indoors · Wear long sleeves · Cover mouth and nose · Do not drink or eat food outside · Drink water frequently · People with lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion.
For more information regarding yellow sand, call Public Health at 784-4494/2515 or Bioenvironmental Engineering at 784-2623.

Today is the highest so far this spring, and even though I'm having an awful time with it it's actually only considered to be a moderate risk.

Seoul during yellow sand storm. It's nowhere near this bad today.

Looks like there might be quite a bit of indoor running in my future!


joyRuN said...

I guess that's why I haven't seen any Korean marathoners profiled in RW/RT.

Your poor poor lungs!

Bob said...

And you thought the air in the City was the pits. Holy macaroni and cheese! Are you wearing a mask when you jog? Take care.

achilles3 said...

Dude. Getting stateside runners to feel sorry for you...really?
William Golding said it best:
"Sucks to your assmar!"

tfh said...

Damned Gobi desert. Keep coughing that crap up.

b said...

I've seen pictures of streets full of people wearing those paper dust masks. They're useless. If it was me, i'd be wearing an organic vapour respirator with secondary dust filters. (costs about 30 bucks at any home center). My grandmother and mother have emphysema. If you've ever seen someone panic-stricken struggling for breath, you don't screw around with something so easily preventable. Get yourself a decent mask..or pay the price later on.

b said...

Ps..dust from the desert is just one element that constitutes the problem, of even greater concern are the high concentrations of pollutants, carcinogens etc that are also present. Many if not all of the countries over there have little in place in the way of emission controls given their rush to industrialize and in their minds..catch up to the west. Get a mask.

Melanie said...

and here i thought the air quality in Toronto was bad! Yikes!

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

I think "Gobi" must be Mongolian for "gobby" because that dust makes you all gobby, i.e., makes you cough up gobs of phlegm and other lungal goodies.

By the way, I believed you about the yellow storms but I also believed you when you said the reason you fled the country had nothing to do with al those people you and Bernie Madoff allegedly ripped off with your ponzi scheme.

I still think you're innocent, but I'd like my 401k money back, please.