Smog is a form of air pollution that’s particularly hazardous. Why should you worry about smoggy days? It can be dangerous to breathe in too much smog. Smog contains a pollutant called ozone, and elevated ozone levels can have a variety of negative effects on your lungs. Smog is most common in big cities, though people living in suburban areas also need to be conscious of its dangers. If you need to pass through a metropolitan area during a family vacation or road trip, it’s also wise to be aware of smog conditions. No matter where you live, there are precautions you can take to protect yourself and your family, when smog warnings are in effect. The term “smog” describes a mixture of emissions under specific climate conditions. These emissions include:
- industrial pollutants
- car and other vehicle pollutants
- open burning
How can smog affect your health?
Exposure to smog can lead to several different types of short-term health problems due to its ozone content. These include:
- Coughing and throat or chest irritation: High levels of ozone can irritate your respiratory system, generally lasting for a few hours after you’ve been exposed to smog. However, ozone can continue to harm your lungs even after symptoms disappear.
- Worsening of asthma symptoms: If you suffer from asthma, exposure to high levels of ozone from smog can trigger asthma attacks.
- Difficulty breathing and lung damage: Smog can make it feel difficult to breathe deeply, especially during exercise. This is because of the effects of ozone on lung function.
It’s important to note that smog affects everyone differently, and some people are more susceptible to its negative effects. Children, seniors, and people with asthma need to be especially careful on smoggy days. Don’t take chances with smog on days when air quality is poor. The best approach is to spend less time outdoors and replace vigorous activities, like running or biking, with gentler options, such as walking. You can also schedule your outside activities for the early morning or evening, when ozone levels are low. These simple steps can help protect you and your family on smoggy days, whether you live in a major city or you’re just passing through.
|Points to remember:
Please take the following precautions to minimize health risks for yourself and particularly parents and children who are susceptible to the effects of smog:
· While indoors keep your windows closed.
· Avoid exercising in smoggy conditions, particularly at midday when ground ozone levels are at their highest.
· If you’re asthmatic or have COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), carry inhalers at all times. If smog is bad, treatment may need to be increased for a while. If you notice any rapid deterioration in your condition, consult your doctor
· If you have respiratory conditions and need to travel on smoggy days, avoid congested areas where you may get stuck in traffic jams. Road junctions can be a hotbed of exhaust emissions.
· If you’re walking or riding your bike to work, plan a route that avoids too many areas that are built up or congested with cars and please wear a mask at all times.
· Keep your own emissions to a minimum. Avoid unnecessary car journeys in cities, don’t rev up or leave your engine running for a long time outside your home on cold days or when stuck in traffic jams.
· Try and keep children indoors and don’t let them play outside till this settles.