We’ve reported of declining air quality all
over the world… but also right here in Korea. A recent report showed this country rounded
out in the bottom ten in terms clean air. Face masks have been selling like hotcakes
in recent months… but guess what? Koreans are now snapping up canned oxygen, yes, fresh
oxygen from stores… to get a breath of fresh air.
Our Oh Jung-hee reports. Masks have become an essential item for people
in Korea seeking to avoid the increasingly dusty air floating around the country. “But now, people are becoming more proactive
in protecting themselves. Masks are still widely used, but consumers are going one step
further to provide themselves with fresh air,.. using products such as portable canned oxygen.” This medical equipment store in downtown Seoul
is just one of a growing number of shops selling the product.
Each can has about 800 millimeters of oxygen and it’s portable, so people can carry it
around wherever they go. Canned oxygen was originally developed for
medical use, but it’s become popular with ordinary citizens seeking a break from the
potentially dangerous particles. “These days I’m a bit afraid to open the windows
because of the fine dust in the air. So I put a can of oxygen in my car and use it quite
often. It refreshes my mind.” The shop owner says he definitely notices
the uptick in sales of the product. “Sales of canned oxygen have risen by 30 percent.
Before, it was only one or two people a day who came to buy the cans,… but now, about
seven or eight people come.” Aside from canned oxygen, a wide variety of
so-called “clean air” products,… such as oxygen generators and nose masks,… can be
found online,… potentially making clean air the next hot commodity in Korea.
Oh Jung-hee, Arirang News.