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Smog is Dangerous for Public Health

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Smog is Dangerous for Public Health

Smog is Dangerous for Public Health:

Take “urgent action” to prevent thick smog from further engulfing the city of more than 10 million people.

In Pakistan, air quality is having a substantial impact on public health. The smog problem is increasing day by day in the winter season and affects the quality of life. Researchers have concluded the adverse effects of poor air quality because it affects morbidity, mortality, and quality of healthy life. Smog is dangerous for public health. Smog is more threatening for children, older adults, pregnant women and already ill people from respiratory diseases. The primary concern of smog is due to weather, temperature, precipitation, sunshine and calm wind.

According to the Pakistan Air Quality Initiative (PAQI), air pollution caused 59,241 deaths in Pakistan each year.

In 2019 reports, smog in big cities of Pakistan like Karachi, Gujranwala, Rawalpindi and Lahore was 6.4 times higher than the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidelines. Most polluted cities are from Punjab, which ranks higher in the unhealthy and hazardous category. Smog is affecting public health. In 2019, Pakistan with a Particule Matter 2.5 reading of 65.81 μg/m³, putting it into the ‘unhealthy’ rating category. Pakistan ranked 2nd position out of the most polluted countries in the world. Sometimes, people leave their places due to environmental pollution.

Read more about human migration due to environmental factors. Click on the link for details. 

  City Country AVG 2019 (µg/m³)
1. Ghaziabad India 110.2
2. Hotan China 110.1
3. Gujranwala Pakistan 105.3
4. Faisalabad Pakistan 104.6
5. Delhi India 98.6
Air quality index of the top  five cities  in 2019 

What is smog, and how it is formed?

Smog is a combination of smoke and fog. It is the blackish-coloured fog formed by the mixture of the fined pollutants and ground-level ozone. Moreover, it is a mixture of different toxic gases with dust and water vapours.

How is smog formed in the atmosphere? Smog is formed when sunlight reacts with atmospheric gases and fine particulate particles. Thus, smog is a type of air pollution. When the wind is calm during temperature inversions, smog may get trapped and remain over a place for days.

Sources of Air Pollution:

  • Toxic gases emission comes from road dust and power generation.
  • Industrial combustion, smelting, and other metal processing cause a devastating effect on the environment.
  • Wood burning, land conversion and forest fires also add to air pollution.
  • An increase in the number of vehicles on the road resulted in higher emissions.
  • Emission from the brick kiln
  • Open dumping and burning of waste

Smog is Dangerous for Public Health:

“Polluted air is poisoning millions of children and ruining their lives,” WHO Director-General. 

  • Air pollution, particularly particles, can trigger strokes and heart attacks.
  • Smog is linked to a more significant number of deaths from heart and respiratory diseases.
  • Exposure to smog can lead to greater chances of an asthma attack
  • Increases the chances of chronic bronchitis, optic irritation and lung carcinoma among the urban population
  • It affects the central nervous system even at low concentration.
  • Exposure to smog irritates the respiratory system.
  • Smog also causes premature deaths in children.

How should you fight the forceful impact of smog?

  • Wear a mask outdoors
  • Close your windows to avoid minute dirt particles
  • Avoid products that release high levels of fumes and vapours. For example, use low-VOC paints.
  • Run an air purifier
  • Avoid outdoor exercise
  • Take care of the cars. Getting regular tune-ups
  • By controlling the emission of pollutants at the source.
  • Avoid recycling materials whose production create pollution.
  • Investing more in renewable energy, to shift from fossil fuel to clean energy
  • Act of responsibility with household chemicals and their disposal.
  • Improvement in fuel quality to minimum Euro IV and upgrade old vehicles
  • Investment in electric vehicles and low-carbon technologies
  • Restrictions on chemicals factories releasing toxic gases into the atmosphere
  • Adopt the practice of forest bathing because it helps to improve health.
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Saba Yousafzai is MPhil scholar in Environmental Science from Pakistan. She is passionate about writing-related to environmental issues like climate change, wastewater, air pollution and other environmental pollution. She is also contributing to the magazine, "The Earth Needs Love" and "Climate Haven". Thanks for reading. Please contact her sabayousafzai12@gmail.com

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