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Name: Patricia Minkle
Status: Other
Age: N/A
Location: Okinawa Japan
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 

What are the effects of coral dust?

I lived on Okinawa for nearly 3 years. I can tell you unquestionably, that the coral dust causes serious cases of asthma in some people who move there. The doctors on Okinawa told that they could always tell which way the wind was blowing, because when it blew from one particular direction, it carries a lot of coral dust and their offices would be filled with people having upper respiratory problems. The problem with the dust is, I believe, due simply to the fact that it is a particle, and it irritates the lungs.

I had a son born on Okinawa and he had asthma (now they call it sensitive bronchioles) the whole time we were there but since we moved to Norfolk, VA (a place notable for its tendency to give people allergies) we have had no trouble with his lungs. The other dust problem is the yellow dust that blows in from China. You may have seen it, it turns the sky yellow. I do not know whether this is problem for people with asthma. I do know that it carries much iron with it and that this is important for the one-celled microalgae called phytoplankton on which the whole ocean food chain is based. They do not grow well without iron.

Stacie M Clark

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