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Unless you have been living under a rock for past few days, you must be aware that Pakistan is facing a severe smog crisis particularly in Punjab region. The smog is not an unexpected arrival however it has been dense and thicker than the usual fog parts of the country get at this time of the year.
Pakistan has decided to take China’s help in an attempt to adopt its model of electricity generation without any interruption in areas hit by thick smog during dry and cold weather.
The decision comes immediately after different parts of the country endured prolonged blackouts in the wake of disruption in power supply due to enveloping smog in Punjab cities.
What Diseases Can Smog Cause?
Environmental pollution is one of the issues that affects us all today.
In fact, ozone and particular matter are two of the most harmful components of smog at ground level and nowadays are the cause.
We all know that smog is harmful to the body, but did you know that it can also cause death? In fact, lethal mixtures of smog killed 600 people in mid-1948 in England. However, in this article I will not deal with the mortality that this polluting agent can cause but rather with the diseases that can afflict you if you spend a good time exposed to it, we will review a bit how you can protect yourself from this harmful compound.
The smog as we know it is composed of different pollutants that can invade the atmosphere and thus affect the health of living beings, especially the health of people who are at higher risk, such as the elderly, the sick and children. In fact, one of the most polluted cities in the world, such as Lahore, currently has a serious respiratory health deficiency in their children due to the problem of environmental pollution.
Let’s see, what does this word mean? ” Smog “ is an expression that derives from the English terms “smoke” (which means smoke) and “fog” (which means fog) . Thus, smog is composed of a mixture of pollutants that invade the atmosphere, in addition two of its primary compounds that are more harmful are ozone at ground level and fine particles produced in the air called particular matter.
It is a fact that the more smog you inhale, the more likely you will be to acquire some disease. Thus, for example, there are people who are too sensitive to experience some symptoms after spending an hour or two outdoors in the middle of a fairly polluted place.
In this way, it is the elderly who have an increased risk of lung or heart disease due to exposure to this pollutant. In addition, children are also in this circle of people at risk, because they breathe faster and also, they are much more outdoors. Even healthy young adults breathe less efficiently on days when the air is heavily polluted.
The symptoms that are experienced due to smog
Ozone, one of its components of smog is one of the most affecting the respiratory system because it produces an inflammation of the respiratory tract that can last about 18 hours after exposure to this agent. Thus, coughing, wheezing and narrowing of the chest can occur.
In people who have heart problems, this exposure can make the picture worse and the same happens with lung infections. In fact, there is evidence that this exposure accelerates and intensifies the sensitivity of asthmatics to allergens.
On the other hand, particles that are produced due to air and that are small enough to be aspirated also have the potential to affect health. These particles that are very fine can penetrate very deeply the lungs and thus, interfere with the functioning of the respiratory system . In this way, these particles have been associated with an increase in asthma symptoms, admissions to hospitals and premature mortality.
Preventing the effects of smog
- The best thing to do is make a schedule of your time, for example it is best not to exercise outdoors during the afternoon and the beginning of the night during the days that you feel that there is greater environmental pollution. This indication applies especially to people who are of legal age or to anyone who has a heart or lung disease.
- If you have children at home, it is best to restrict some hours of your outdoor play.
- If you live in areas where there is a lot of pollution, do not try to exercise outdoors in those areas, especially in areas where there is greater traffic congestion, in this way you can minimize your exposure to the pollution of these motor vehicles.
- Finally, it is not only about protecting yourself from polluted air, but also about contributing to the emission of pollutants. There are many ways to collaborate with our environment, for example, the non-use of aerosols, unplugging electrical appliances that are not used or improving the engine of our car (if it is in poor condition). Actually, there are different ways to work together to reduce the production of ground-level ozone, as well as other components of smog.