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Canned air from Mt. Jiri to sell for 92 won a breath

July 05,2017
Fresh air from Mount Jiri packaged into cans will be sold online and in pharmacies by mid-July, according to the Hadong County Office in South Gyeongsang.

Each can will contain 8 liters (0.28 cubic feet) of air, packaged from a forest in Mount Jiri, South Gyeongsang, and sold for 15,000 won ($13). Consumers are to inhale the air using a mask attached to the can, up to 160 times if the consumer takes in one-second breaths.

Hadong County Office has been working since March with Vitality Air, a Canadian company producing portable and canned air for export to countries including China, India and the United States, to produce the canned air product, Jiri Air. The county office said that the product will be available online and in supermarkets and pharmacies by mid-July.

Jiri Air will be packed with air collected at around 700 meters (2,297 feet). The Hadong County Office said air collected at that altitude was tested to contain an average of 22 micrograms of PM10, or particulate matter that is 10 micrometers or less in diameter, and 9 micrograms of PM2.5, or particulate matter that is 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter, per cubic meter of air.

According to the World Health Organization, a 24-hour average of PM2.5 level above 25 micrograms or a PM10 level above 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air is deemed harmful. Chronic exposure to particulate matter can lead to cardiovascular conditions like heart disease and blood clots, or respiratory diseases, such as lung cancer.

Canned oxygen, different from canned air, has been sold here before for medical purposes. Since 1991, Shinyang Oxygen Industry Company has offered products including pure oxygen in cans.

Jiri Air will compete with Napory Air, already on the market. Napory costs 9,900 won per can and contains 200 milliliters of air collected from Mireuk Island of South Gyeongsang. The product is used as a nasal spray for consumers to inhale the air through the nose.

“The Hadong County Office’s green tea research foundation, Canada’s Vitality Air Korea and SL Biotech are working together on Jiri Air,” Kim said. “The county office will take 40 percent of the profit, Vitality Air Korea 50 percent, and SL Biotech, the retailer, 10 percent.”

The county office said it is looking to export Jiri Air to China and India if its domestic sales prove successful.

BY WEE SUNG-WOOK, ESTHER CHUNG [chung.juhee@joongang.co.kr]