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J Korean Med Assoc > Volume 55(3); 2012 > Article
Journal of the Korean Medical Association 2012;55(3):234-242.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5124/jkma.2012.55.3.234   
Toxicity and health effects of Asian dust: a literature review
Ho Jang Kwon
Department of Preventive Medicine, Dankook University College of Medicine, Cheonan, Korea. hojang@dankook.ac.kr
Asian dust, called Hwangsa in Korean, is windblown dust originating from the desert areas of China and Mongolia. Public concern on the possible adverse health effects of Asian dust has increased recently. Some experimental studies have reported that Asian dust aggravates the allergic response and induces cytotoxicity by promoting the release of reactive oxygen species. Asian dust may potentiate common cold symptoms associated with rhinovirus infection by enhancing inflammatory cytokines and increasing viral replication. In many epidemiologic studies conducted not only in Korea but also in Taiwan and Japan, Asian dust exposure has been reported to be associated with an increase in mortality and hospital visits and admission due to cardiovascular and respiratory disease as well as increased respiratory symptoms and decreased pulmonary function. The frequency and scale of Asian dust events are expected to increase due to environmental change such as desertification in northern China and climate change. We need an Asian dust preparedness strategy including monitoring of dust-related health outcomes as well as an enhanced Asian dust forecasting system to protect people from the effects of Asian dust events.
Key Words: Asian dust, Epidemiologic studies, Preparedness


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