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Smog – The part of our seasonal calendar

The term smog was first introduced in the 1950s to describe a mixture of smoke and fog experienced in London. A large number of cities along the west coast of America and Asia were also experiencing a different type of air pollution. There are two major types of smog: summer (it was first experienced in America) and winter (the one first noticed in London).

What basically smog is? 

Smog is a blend of air pollutants—nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds—that mix with sunlight to form ozone. Smog is produced by a set of complicated photochemical reactions concerning volatile organic compounds (VOCs), nitrogen oxides and sunlight, which form ground-level ozone. Smog-forming pollutants arise from many origins such as automobile exhaust, power plants, industries, and many consumer products, including paint, hairspray, charcoal starter fluid, chemical solvents, and even plastic popcorn packaging. In average residential areas, at least half of the smog forerunners come from cars, buses, trucks, and boats.

Effects

Smog is made up of a mixture of air pollutants that can compromise human health, harm the environment, and even cause property damage. Smog can cause or aggravate health problems such as asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis and other respiratory problems as well as eye irritation and reduced resistance to colds and lung infections. The ozone in the smog also hinders plant growth and can cause extensive damage to crops and forests.

Who Is Most at Risk From Smog?

Anyone who involves in active outdoor activity—from running to manual labour—may suffer smog-related health effects. Dynamic activity induces people to breathe faster and more deeply, imperilling their lungs to more ozone and other pollutants. Four assemblies of physiques are particularly sensitive to ozone and other air pollutants in smog:

  1. Children
  2. Adults who are active outdoors
  3. People with respiratory diseases
  4. People with unusual susceptibility to ozone

Smog in Pakistan

Everyone agrees on is this: smog is now part of our seasonal calendar. Smog is visible air pollution but the quality of air all over Pakistan has deteriorated in the past decade. Smog is not a motionless phenomenon either that it will remain confined to a certain area. Strong winds can carry smog to a great distance. The heavy smog in all different parts of Pakistan is affecting everyday life very badly. It is causing numerous health issues as people are being exposed to increased levels of polluted smog. It is not just human life that is suffering at the hands of this polluted fog, but the livestock is also incurring diseases because of breathing this polluted air.

Measures to reduce the Smog

The country needed a nation-wide system of air quality monitors in its cities to better understand what is happening and drive action. Cutting smog would have other benefits as well. We should lessen air pollution at the source, be it industry, agriculture, public waste or transportation. This will need time, money and planning. here are some points we should follow to reduce the smog up to a certain limit:

  • Purchase renewable energy
  • Increasing energy efficiency and conserving energy
  • Use of environmentally friendly consumer products
  • Smog detection and monitoring systems
  • Reducing and managing vehicular and industrial emissions

Rana Ali Zohaib
About author

Journalist / Columnist / Reporter at Truth Tracker international Magazine. Columnist at Raabta.net (Urdu and English), [email protected]
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