As Pakistanis are getting ready to welcome winters another big threat to their health is arising. This threat is smog which usually starts during the winters and autumn. The term smog is new to many, smog is derived from the words fog and smoke. Smog is mostly seen in Punjab province in Pakistan and some parts of India. The visibility and the air quality become very low during this season.
Smog is a complex and hazardous mixture of pollutants, including particulate matter, ground-level ozone, and various toxic gases, that often surrounds our cities and they become hazy, noxious clouds. This environmental hazard poses a very significant health risk and has wide-ranging implications for both the environment and people’s health. In this article, we will shed some light on the causes, effects, and measures to combat smog.
Some main reasons for Smog
Emissions from Vehicles: One of the leading contributors to smog is the combustion of fossil fuels in vehicles. Cars, trucks, and other forms of transportation release nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the atmosphere. These chemicals react with sunlight to form ground-level ozone, a key component of smog.
Agricultural Practices: The use of fertilizers and other chemicals in agriculture releases ammonia and other compounds into the atmosphere, which can contribute to the formation of particulate matter and smog. The farmers after harvesting season burn The roots and extra plants to ground in their farms and fields of agriculture this is how they prepare their land for further agricultural activities. This burning in large amounts creates a low pressure in the air where the smoke covers the skies and as a result, Smog is formed. This is mostly done in the Punjab area.
Industrial Activities: Industrial processes, including the burning of fossil fuels, chemical production, and manufacturing, emit a cocktail of pollutants into the air. These emissions can contribute significantly to the formation of smog in urban areas.
Diseases prevalent during the Smog
All these factors combine to become lethal for the health of the people living in these areas. Diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, Immune System Disorders, Cardiovascular Issues, and Leukemia are predominantly seen in these areas which gives the residents long-term damage to the resident’s health.
Precautionary Measures Against Smog
Put on a mask all the time.
Run an air purifier or an Air Humidifier to clean the air.
Avoid being outside near high-traffic areas to reduce your exposure.
Take rest breaks in the shade and drink plenty of water when you’re outside.
Avoid doing intense outdoor work.
Avoid driving and smoking to reduce your carbon output.
If you must drive, drive slowly and use headlights, fog lights, blinkers, and hazards at all times.
Close windows and other air inlets when indoors.
If you have asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, have your inhaler with you at all times. Keep your doctor’s number handy in case your illness worsens.
It is important to note that pollution affects everyone differently, and some people are more vulnerable to its detrimental effects.
On smoggy days, persons with asthma, children, and the elderly should take extra precautions.
Bicyclists must cover their faces and wear glasses to protect their eyes.
Drink plenty of water and constantly wash your hands.
Avoid crowded areas where you can be caught in traffic if you have breathing problems and need to travel on foggy days.
Road junctions can be a hive of exhaust pollutants, so keep your windows closed.
Avoid airports, seaports, and industrial locations as well.
If you are walking or cycling to work, choose a route that avoids densely populated or crowded areas.
Reduce your own emissions as much as possible. Avoid needless car trips in cities, and don’t leave your engine running for long periods of time outside your house on cold days or when stuck in traffic.