SMOG AND HUMAN HEALTH

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Protect yourself against the affects of smog

SMOG is a combination of smoke and fog. Smog is formed when smoke released by burning of fuels mixes with fog, which includes tiny droplets suspended in the atmosphere. Smog is formed by air pollution when pollutants are released into the air by gasoline and diesel-run vehicles, gen-sets and industries.

An ideal environment for smog includes heavy traffic, high temperature, sunshine and calm wind. Smog is aggravated during winter when the wind speeds are low with smoke easily mixing with fog to form smog. At the ground level there is increase in pollution levels, hampering visibility and disturbing the environmental conditions.

HARMFUL IMPACT OF SMOG

Smog is harmful to humans, animals and plants. In humans, smog has a disastrous fall-out which is evident as bronchial diseases. Smog may inhibit bone  development which leads to rickets. As smog decreases UV radiation it leads to low production of vitamin D. Other harmful effects of smog on human health includes, chest pain, pulmonary diseases viz. lung inflammation & bronchitis, asthma, eye irritation and others. Smog affects those with a history of lung conditions and low in immunity.

Even nature is not spared by smog, as it leaves a trail of destruction. Crops like soya bean, wheat, tomatoes, peanuts and cotton are most affected by smog. Animals too cannot survive smog, as the latter poisons the air and makes the environment highly toxic. Smog has the potential to kill a number of animal species and green life.

STEPS TO PREVENT SMOG

Urban areas and industrial zones are adopting more and more of Green, Energy Efficient & Eco-friendly Programs. The focus is on adopting cleaner emission technologies and implementation of stricter laws to control vehicular pollution and release of toxic gases especially smoke and sulphur dioxide. In general, there is increased preference for the use of alternative fuels. Pollution control agencies have developed the Air Quality Index (AQI) that ranks air quality from zero to 300.

PRECAUTIONS TO PROTECT YOURSELF

You can prevent the disastrous impact of smog on your health, by limiting your outdoor activities during smoggy days, adopting a lifestyle that includes greater physical activity and taking the right diet. You can prefer to go for a walk than running or biking which are more rigorous activities. Children and the old should be extra cautious during smoggy days as they are greatly susceptible to cold, cough and lung infections.

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