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Premature Deaths / KBS뉴스(News)

[Anchor Lead] A new study shows that over ten-thousand Koreans suffer premature deaths every year, due to the plague of ultrafine dust which is a first grade carcinogen. This finding is expected to quicken legal moves to designate fine dust pollution as a disaster. [Pkg] A downtown area blanketed in fine dust appears to be a scene from a disaster film. [Soundbite] Yoo Da-hae(Gangbuk-gu Dist., Seoul) : Wearing a mask is uncomfortable. But without it, my throat is sore. With the ever worsening air quality, citizens are now beyond worried and nervous and even feel dread. [Soundbite] Han Jin-joo(Mapo-gu Dist., Seoul) : I think fine dust is worse than a typhoon or earthquake because this is all year round. High levels of fine dust are regarded a grade one carcinogen that impacts our cardiovascular system and respiratory organs. A UN report estimates that 7 million people suffer premature deaths each year due to air pollution. In Korea, 12-thousand people die early because of ultrafine dust. This is why many say fine dust should also be categorized as a disaster to ensure better oversight. A bill has already been introduced in parliament calling for the inclusion of fine dust in the social disaster category, which would put it in the same group as a fire or explosion. Such designation can legally enable tougher implementation of emergency fine dust reduction measures or victim relief. But for the bill to pass, differences lingering among government agencies and regions regarding details of a disaster designation first need to be sorted out.

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