A government lab has found the level of fine dust in South Korea in the first three months of this year was the worst since 2015.
The Air Quality Forecasting Center under the Environment Ministry said Friday that the fine dust concentration in the first quarter amounted to 32 micrograms per cubic meter.
While the level went up by two micrograms from the quarterly averages in 2015 and 2016, South Korea experienced eight days of "bad" fine dust levels, which is double what was recorded for the same period last year.
The worsening air quality was attributed to unfavorable weather conditions. From January to March, South Korea recorded 75 days of westerly winds blowing smog down from China, compared to 19 days in 2016.
During the period, fine dust emissions from local factories and vehicles were found to have decreased by 280 tons, thanks in part to toughened regulations.