Smog: Its causes and effects

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Aneel Ahmed Usmani

CEO-Editor at The News Vision. An experienced Journalist both in Digital and Print Media. Working in the field of Journalism for more than a decade. Truth, Patience and Tolerance keys towards unending success.
Aneel Ahmed Usmani

What is Smog?

Smog is a type of fog which has smoke or soot in it. It is formed by a heterogeneous mix of pollutants in the atmosphere colored in a yellowish or blackish fog. It consists of fine particles and ground-level ozone. It can be rightly said that smog is a mixture of various gases with dust and water vapor.

Air Pollution is one of the key reason behind smog that makes breathing difficult. The vehicles emissions, production lines releases of dust particles from various machines in industries and last but not the least wood and coal burning together are also considered as the main causal agents of smog.

How Smog is formed?

The atmospheric pollutants or gases that form smog are released in the air when fuels are burnt. When sunlight and its heat react with these gases and fine particles in the atmosphere, smog is formed. It must be mentioned here that Smog takes its way due to:

  1. Air Pollution
  2. Heavy traffic on roads.
  3. Calm Winds.
  4. High level of Temperature.

As in today’s world uncountable chemicals and their formulas of hazardous nature are being rapidly used in the industrial production so they plays a big role in exaggerating the level of smog in the atmosphere.

Significant Causes behind Smog:

The below mentioned are the main causes that appears to be the fundamental reasons behind the huge wave of smog in the atmosphere:

  1. Coal being used as a fuel:

Use of coal as fuel in heating or in power-producing plants discharges high concentrations of sulfur oxides in the atmosphere. The effects are worsened by high levels of suspended particulate matter in the air and dampness. Burning coal also generates significant amounts of smoke which lead to smoggy environments.

  1. Transport and Industrial Pollution:

Emissions from the transportation sector resulting from fossil fuel burning in various means of transport including cars, trucks, buses, motorbikes, and boats are the chief contributors of smog formation.

  1. Natural Causes:

Smog can as well occur due to natural causes like volcanic eruption and some specific plant life effects.

Dreadful Effects of Smog:

  1. Effects on human health:

Smog can badly endanger human health. Problems such as emphysema, asthma, chronic bronchitis, lung infections, and cancers are caused or exacerbated by the effects of smog. Continuous coughing, irritation of the eyes, pain in chest, dryness inside nose and sore throat are the results of smoggy environment.

  1. Worsening Asthma:

Asthma attacks are witnessed due to severity in the level of smog. It gives an open way to other diseases including difficulty in breathing and damaging human lungs.

  1. Early Deaths:

A 2013 WHO report indicated that cumulative exposure to smog heightens the chances of premature death from cancers and respiratory diseases.

  1. Birth Deficiencies:

Smog is highly linked to birth defects and low birth weight. Pregnant women who have been exposed to smog have had babies with birth defects.

  1. Higher Risks of Accidents:

As Smog causes huge irritation in the eyes and makes the area of visibility into complete disappearance, so the rate of accidents rises with fast pace on roadways, railways and airways.

City of Lahore at a Precarious Smog Level:

Smog is one of the alarming issues nowadays. Recently, it has gripped the entire city of Lahore with its full force. The people in Lahore complained about sour throats and watery eyes due to massive level of smoke and fog.

Well since yesterday the excessive amount of smog has urged the provincial government of Punjab to close down all the schools in the city of Lahore.

The tool used by the government to communicate to the public the level of Air Quality Index was measured yesterday (AQI) at around 640 in Lahore that crossed the threshold for ‘hazardous’ level of air quality, which is 300.

 

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