From: Korea Times
Published December 27, 2008 09:19 AM

Korea: 10% Suffer From Environmental Diseases

By Bae Ji-sook
Staff Reporter

One out of every 10 local households has at least one member suffering from an environment-related disease, the Ministry of Environment said Friday. 

According to research conducted between Oct. 16 to 30 on 1,000 adults nationwide, 10.5 percent said they or their family members have an ``environmental disease'' such as eczema, hay fever or asthma. Such diseases are caused by pollutants in the air and man-made structures, which build up in the human body.

Some 50.3 percent, said they suffered from eczema while runny noses, chronic respiratory ailments and asthma followed. Most picked air pollution as the main cause of the disease. 

The respondents said the government needs to label toxic materials used in children's goods, and use environmentally-friendly products in playgrounds and other children's facilities to prevent a prevalence of the ailments among children. 

The government has designated 11 general hospitals to study environment-related disease mechanisms through 2011. 

bjs@koreatimes.co.kr

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