A whopping 82 percent of Koreans say they have suffered some discomfort because of fine dust, according to a recent survey.
Among over 1,000 people surveyed by Gallup Korea, more females reported difficulties due to fine dust than males, with 98 percent of women in their 30s saying it caused them discomfort. And 37 percent of respondents said they use air purifiers in their homes.
The proportion of Koreans who use air-cleaning products has more than doubled in the past 11 years from only 15 percent in 2006.
In line with the government-led measures to improve air quality, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has announced its own plans to tackle the fine dust problem.
Among other steps, it will implement a graded fine-dust warning advisory from July. When conditions deteriorate beyond a certain point, warnings will be triggered and public transportation will be free during rush hours to encourage people to refrain from using personal vehicles.
The city government will also discuss relevant measures through an international forum with neighboring countries when the mayors of Seoul, Beijing, Tokyo, and Ulaanbaatar meet in October.