Yellow sand and other irritants

I had no idea of all the airborne irritants I’d have to battle before moving here. 

I’m an asthmatic and I also have allergies. In Saipan things were pretty much under control with only occasional issues. 

Not so here -thanks to the Takala Makan and Gobi deserts. Not to mention the Loess Plateau. 

During later winter and spring dust particles from the deserts are driven across Korea by westerly winds right smack over us here in Kyushu. 

The ” dust” or kousa as its called here- is nasty stuff. They have analysed it and found it to be a mix of minerals like quartz, fieldspar, mica and a few others. It also contains pollutants from Chinese factories. 

You can imagine how it feels living with this junk floating around you. It’s gritty and if I don’t know we are being bombarded by it because I can’t understand the radio broadcasts and no one tells me I soon realize it when my eyes feel like someone pepper sprayed me. 

You can feel the stuff on the floor or the furniture if you’ve had the windows open. 

This week was bad. Monday and Tuesday our eyes hurt so bad. I felt just like I had washed them in grit or Tabasco. 

It causes a number of ailments- sore throat, headache, sinus and respiratory issues, burning eyes and tiredness. Sometimes your skin itches. 

I finally figured out why I was feeling so poor this week ( duh) and today was much better with the windows closed and the AC on. 

I’ve got to go out tomorrow and I saw that the particulate matter is supposed to be in the orange and red zone- gah. 

8 thoughts on “Yellow sand and other irritants

  1. Sorry about the sand! In Sakata, we got that too. Blew from China, said my MIL.

  2. My son lives in Kagoshima and they have experienced the dreaded sand! Need to keep my grandson (2yrs) inside during the worse. Take care and use AC if possible.

  3. It’s terrible stuff- I’m now nice and sick from it lol. I had to go out yesterday – the worst day we’ve had all week! Windows are closed now… But these old houses are so drafty! I pray baby stays well!

  4. I remember when I lived in Govan, Scotland. There was a fine mist of what appeared to be coal dust, (no coal within hundreds of miles), that would end up on clothes, furniture and like you mentioned, in my eyes. Many people don’t experience these such “yellow sand” irritants unless they spend more time than a quick vacation in another land.

  5. As much as I love Japan, I just dread the “season of kousa”. It makes me sick (I have asthma) and limits my active life. I have to walk around wearing a mask when I do go out. Really makes me appreciate the clean air we had back home in Saipan!

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