Cool weather, low breeze blooming flowers are the sign of spring season in Pakistan but this spring season came with smoggy days which in few days make people fear about their health and environment too. Smog is a type of air pollution which can be hazardous at its peaks. The word smog is derived from two words “smoke” and “fog.”Chemically it is made up of smoke of burning coal and low lying fog’s combinations. World’s major coal burning center such as China, Egypt, Mexico, Brazil, Houstan and USA are facing the problem and now Pakistan is among one of them which is facing high smog levels in its major cities. Few years past this smog has caused the cancellation of air plane flights in “Lahore”. Now Lahore is considered one of the most polluted cities of the Asia.
Smog is classified in two main classes: Reducing or sulphurious smog and oxidizing smog or photochemical smog. These are also described as London and los angles smog due to 1st identification from these places. London smog is characterized by high sulphurious contents (So2) and primary pollutants (aerosols).Coal combustion is major source of this type of smog formation. It is mainly found in urban areas during winter months because of shallow boundary of air which helps pollutants to be concentrated in low air volume. The other type of smog consists of high content of oxidizing agent’s ozone, PANs, inorganic sulphuric and nitric oxides. Its formation is done due to photochemical reaction occurring in air between the oxides of nitrogen and volatile hydrocarbons released from combustion process. the main contributors of this type are also primary pollutants known as carbon mono oxide(Co).Los angles smog is dependent on day time radiation, more the radiation thus more smog which will occur later in the day, this can be seen in summer days.
Whichever the type of the smog is, it has bad impacts on Earth biota (Humans, Agriculture) and on Environment. A low level of winter smog exposure makes irritation in eyes, Suffocation during exercise. High levels of smog can cause chest infections making cough and continuous irritation of throat, lasting for few hours. Long exposures make breathe difficult and lung damage can lead to worse asthma symptoms. Everyone is susceptible to these damages but young children are more prone to attack. Agriculture also sector faces drastic effects due to smog. A smog blanket reduces the plants photosynthesis by cutting the amount of available light. Plants become sick and their growth retarded. Small seedlings cannot survive under such conditions. These changes lead to drastic levels of food security. To lessen the damages Agricultural experts suggests spraying plants and large trees frequently to make them dust free. Spray vegetables plants and fruit trees with a suitable Fungicide. Try to make less use of tractors and vehicles which produce smokes. Plantations of trees will be fruitful in future to avoid such situations.
To combat the drastic effects of smog on human health, certain precautionary measures should be adopted. First of them is to Avoid smog as much as you can. During travelling on a bike or can keep cover your face. Keep ensure that windows of car are closed so that there is no smog accumulation. Try to avoid traffic jams and congested places until the dissipation of smog. Asthma patients should keep their inhaler with them all the time. And at the last not the least be considerate of Environment and take some initiative measure as civilians to make atmosphere clean and healthy.
Featured Image by Dawn news