What is SMOG

In this article, you will learn about What is SMOG, and how does it affect the environment? | Causes, Effects, Precautions

SMOG is hazardous to human health, causing significant respiratory infections as well as a variety of other illnesses. It is necessary to comprehend what SMOG is, as well as its sources, consequences, and precautions.

What is SMOG, and how does it affect the environment? | Causes, Effects, Precautions

1. What is SMOG?

When two words are combined into one, you get the word smog. Smoke or soot in the form of smog is sometimes referred to as smog. Fine particles and ground-level ozone make up the bulk of the pollutants that contribute to smog, which can be yellow or black in colour.

What is SMOG
What is SMOG

Air pollution-induced smog may alternatively be described as a combination of different gases, dust vapour and water vapour. The term “smog” can also refer to the thick, foggy air that makes it difficult to breathe.

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2. What is smog made of?

2. What is smog made of?
2. What is smog made of?

When fuels are burned, smog-forming chemicals are discharged into the atmosphere. A thick layer of smog forms when the sun’s rays interact with the gases and tiny particles in the atmosphere and combine. Air pollution is solely to blame.

Chemical interactions involving volatile organic compounds (VOC), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides produce ground-level ozone and fine particles in the atmosphere (NOx).

So2 and NOx are precursors, as are the VOCs and SO2 is. Particulates discharged into the air by motor vehicles, industrial facilities, and human activity are the primary sources of these precursors. Also read what is photochemical smog?

2. What is smog made of?
2. What is smog made of?

Smog may be generated by a combination of factors, including heavy traffic, high temperatures, bright sunlight, and calm breezes. These are only a handful of the variables that contribute to the rise of air pollution.

Winter’s low wind speeds aid in the accumulation of smoke and fog, which then condenses into smog and increases pollution levels near the ground, where people are most exposed to it. It reduces visibility and creates a negative impact on the surrounding environment.

2. What is smog made of?

The amount of time it takes for smog to form is directly proportional to the temperature. This type of weather phenomenon is known as a “temperature inversion.” Temperature inversions can cause days of smog accumulation if the wind remains still and there is no way to move the pollution.

It is also true that smog is more severe when it occurs a greater distance from the source of pollution. As a result of the wind carrying the emitted pollutants from high traffic, photochemical reactions that generate smog take place. This means that smog has the potential to harm rural and suburban communities as well as major cities and their surrounding suburbs.

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3. Effects of SMOG on Human Health

3. Effects of  SMOG  on Human Health
3. Effects of SMOG on Human Health

Smog is damaging because of the components that make it up and the consequences it may have on the environment. It’s bad for everyone: animals, plants, and the rest of nature. Many fatalities were reported, particularly those caused by bronchial illnesses.

A significant reduction in UV radiation is caused by dense smog. The deficiency in vitamin D caused by air pollution leads to rickets, which is a disease that can be fatal if left untreated.

Smog has an immediate impact on the residents of a city or town. Lung cancer, bronchitis, asthma, and other serious respiratory illnesses can all be made worse or worsened by smog. Eye discomfort is common when exposed to smog.

 Effects of  SMOG  on Human Health
Effects of SMOG on Human Health

As a result, the lungs’ tissues may become inflamed and cause chest discomfort. It’s not just pollution that causes colds and pneumonia; it’s also tied to other health conditions. It is quite difficult for the human body to fight against the negative effects of pollution.

Smog can increase the risk of asthma episodes even at low levels, thus patients with asthma should avoid it if at all possible. Unhealthy concentrations of air pollution, particularly in highly populated places, cause early fatalities.

Older individuals, children, and those with heart and respiratory issues are the most likely to suffer from asthma, which is why they are the most likely to be affected.

Effects of SMOG on Human Health

The smog’s ground-level ozone also stunts plant development, resulting in enormous losses to agriculture and the environment. It is possible for crops and vegetables such as cotton and soy beans to get infected when exposed to the pollution. Hazardous air kills several animal and plant species because they have to learn to adapt to the toxic conditions before they can thrive in these areas.

Toxic compounds involved in smog creation are very reactive, and they are dispersed widely in our atmosphere owing to rapid modernization or industrialisation.

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 Effects of  SMOG  on Human Health
Effects of SMOG on Human Health

Smog is a terrible problem. In metropolitan areas, smoke and sulphur dioxide pollution are significantly lower than they were in the past because of laws implemented to regulate emissions and to encourage the use of cleaner emission technologies.

So, what can you do to counteract the debilitating effects of smog? Minimize it through making lifestyle changes, reducing your use of non-renewable fuels, and switching to alternative fuels that reduce hazardous emissions from automobiles.

4. Minimize your chances of getting hurt

 Minimize your chances of getting hurt
Minimize your chances of getting hurt

If you’re concerned about pollution and its possible health effects:

  • The Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) index should be checked in your area, particularly during “smog season” (April to September). Adapt your plans to suit your needs;
  • In the afternoon, when ozone levels are at their highest, avoid or restrict intense outdoor activity. Instead, engage in activities that need you to be indoors; stay away from or decrease your exercise time near congested places, especially during rush hour; and
  • If you have a heart or lung issue, talk to your doctor about additional precautions you may take while the pollution level is high to keep yourself healthy.


5. How to Lower Pollution Levels in the Atmosphere

  • Don’t drive if you can help it; instead, take the bus or train. As long as pollution levels aren’t too severe, you may alternatively walk or ride your bicycle; Consider alternatives to gas-powered devices and automobiles. For example, you might want to consider an electric lawnmower rather than a gas-powered one if you’re looking to save money. Maintain all of your cars to the best of your ability.
  • Reduce your household’s energy use. Don’t burn leaves, branches, or any other yard trash; learn more about alternate energy alternatives
  • You may want to join a citizens’ group to lobby for healthier air in your neighbourhood.
  • The necessity of living a sustainable lifestyle should be discussed with your children.

References

[1]      Government of Canada, “Smog and your health – Canada.ca,” 2017. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/air-quality/smog-your-health.html (accessed Nov. 30, 2021).

[2]      Rinkesh, “Causes and Effects of Smog – Conserve Energy Future,” Conserve Energy Future, 2016. https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/dangers-and-effects-of-nuclear-waste-disposal.php%0Ahttps://www.conserve-energy-future.com/smogpollution.php (accessed Nov. 30, 2021).

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