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Korean Journal of Preventive Medicine 2003;36(3): 298-301.
Perceptions of the Asian Dust: Analysis of the Newspaper Articles about the Asian Dust.
Hyoung June Im, Mina Ha, Soo Hun Cho, Ho Jang Kwon
1Department of Preventive Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Korea.
2Department of Preventive Medicine, Dankook University College of Medicine, Korea.
OBJECTIVES: There is an increasing concern for the social, economic, environmental and health effects of the Asian dust (Hwang-sa in Korean language) in Korea. In this study, we intended to indirectly determine ordinary people's perception about the Asian dust by analyzing the contents of newspaper articles dealing with it. METHODS: By using article searching services in the internet websites of three newspaper companies, we collected newspaper articles dealing with the Asian dust during the period from January 1st of 1998 to December 31st of 2002. We classified the articles into four categories: those forecasting the occurrence of the Asian dust, those about measures to cope with it, those about its occurrence in the neighboring foreign countries, and those about its effects. In particular, we analyzed articles about the health effects of the Asian dust more distinctly. RESULTS: A total of 1, 225 articles dealing with the Asian dust were found during the 5 year period. The number of articles increased from 102 in 1998 to 518 in 2002, approximately a five-fold increase. The numbers of articles about health effects, environmental effects and economical effects were 191 (44%), 171 (41%) and 147 (34%), respectively. It was reported that various diseases such as respiratory diseases (87%), eye problems (69%), and skin diseases (12%) were associated with the Asian dust. CONCLUSION: The increasing concern for the negative effects of the Asian dust necessitates more studies about this field. As the effects of the Asian dust are various, the information on the major concern of ordinary people could help establish the research agendas and measures for the Asian dust.
Key words: Asian dust; Perception; Adverse effects; Newspaper article
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