Residents in Seoul cover up. [source]
On Saturday, Seoul was covered in a blanket of yellow dust for more than two hours, and the whole nation put under the first yellow dust alert of the year. The dust has been found to be radioactive, but it isn’t coming from Fukushima, it’s coming from China.
From Yonhap News Agency via JoongAng Daily:
Yellow dust blowing over Korea from China every year is believed to contain radioactive material presumed to have been leaked from nuclear power plants in the neighboring country, a state think tank said yesterday.
Small amounts of cesium-137, a highly radioactive material, have been detected in Korea’s air and soil between February and April – when the dust gets most serious – over the past 10 years, the Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety said in a report submitted to an opposition lawmaker.
Yellow dust – fine sand blown from the Gobi Desert in China and Mongolia every spring that sometimes includes toxic chemical smog emitted by Chinese factories – can cause respiratory disorders.
The atmospheric concentration of cesium-137 reached 252 becquerels per cubic meter, especially when the yellow dust continued for up to 11 days, the institute said. The most recent figure was 89.6 becquerels per cubic meters, a relatively high amount, measured for three days in March last year.