Working Papers

A Study of Recent Policy to Improve Health from Particulate Matter in Korea

A Study of Recent Policy to Improve Health from Particulate Matter in Korea

  • Author

    Shin, Jiyoung

  • Publication Date


  • Pages


  • Series No.

    워킹페이퍼 2022-09||Miscellaneous Reports 2022-09

  • Language


The concentration of particulate matter in Korea has decreased compared to a few years ago. However, the level ofparticulate matter in Korea still exceeds the WHO guideline. Inorder to reduce the health impacts from particulate matter exposure, it is necessary to continuously advance the related airpollution policies. This study recommends plans for advancingparticulate matter policies in Korea by comparing domesticand foreign policies and investigating effective strategies to improve health from particulate matter exposure.Firstly, the association between particulate matter exposureand mortality risk was evaluated using the latest particulatematter and mortality data provided by the Korean government.Next, policies and programs related to air pollution and particulate matter in Korea, U.S., and Canada were reviewed.The results showed that short-term exposure to low levels ofparticulate matter increases the risk of mortality. This association became stronger when estimated for sensitive groups suchas older adults and blue-collar workers.CDC, EPA, and Health Canada have established several airpollution programs. Especially, including particulate matter, they have provided the action plans to reduce the exposurefrom various air pollutants such as ozone, nitrogen dioxide,and carbon monoxide, which have become an issue lately.They also developed educational materials and programs targeting specific sensitive groups, such as school teachers, infants and asthma patients.As a result, we suggest that it is necessary to continue conducting the risk assessment research of low particulate matterexposure and developing related polices to protect healthbased on the research results. It is crucial to monitor fine particulate matter levels nationally, assess the current particulatematter response system’s ability to operate effectively in atimely manner, and identify any issues in each state ofimplementation. In addition, in order to deliver the previouslydeveloped guidelines and programs effectively, selecting effective media for delivering information for each sensitive groupsis needed. For specific sensitive groups such as infants and theelderly, it is important to provide air pollution education andprograms to their caregivers or relevant institutions effectively.Regular indoor air quality checks should also be conducted atkindergartens and nursing homes. Finally, the decrease in particulate matter concentration since the COVID-19 pandemichas led to an increase in the problem of ozone and related airpollutants. Therefore, along with the guideline for particulatematter, it is necessary to develop and promote common action plans that can be helpful to reduce the exposure to other airpollutants.


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