Global Issues

How Smog is Hazardous to Human Health

Smog and its effects

When smog has enveloped the entire city of Lahore beforehand, the winter hasn’t even begun properly. If you live in Lahore and find yourself in this scenario, don’t forget to read this post.

Smog is a form of pollution in the air. If we define air pollution, we can say it is a contaminated indoor and outdoor environment that has an impact not only on the atmosphere but also on the health of living creatures. In the same vein, air pollutants are defined as biological, physical, or chemical variables that are hazardous to human health and well-being.

WHO’s Role

According to several pieces of research and evaluations, around seven million people die as a result of air pollution. This is regarded as a high mortality rate. On the other hand, WHO offers some recommendations for dealing with the situation. But who cares, right?

However, The World Health Organization has set minimum thresholds for air pollution that should not be exceeded. In a similar vein, it is believed that about 99 percent of people worldwide have exceeded these limits and breathe toxic air. Besides all, WHO does everything it can to help countries across the world to protect them from air pollution, such as smog.

The origin of the name “smog”

The word smog was first coined in London in the early 19th century. Where it is described as a mixture of “smoke” and “fog” that frequently shrouded the city.

Dr Des Voeux clarified that the type of smog is a combination of smoke and sulphur dioxide. Sulphur dioxide arose as a result of the widespread usage of coal to heat homes and factories.

Today we refer to smog as a more complicated composition of numerous air pollutants such as nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide more importantly sulphur dioxide and other chemical components. When these air pollutants react with sunlight, consequently, they generate an ozone layer. As a result, it drapes like a heavy haze that shrouds the whole city.

composition of smog

As we have discussed above, smog is a mixture of fog and smoke. In addition to stagnant air, certain chemical components arise due to the emission of industrial polluted waste, and traffic contaminated fumes. Here are some components that are given below…

  1. Nitrogen dioxide
  2. Carbon dioxide
  3. Carbon monoxide
  4. Sulphur dioxide
  5. PM10s (tiny molecules seen in your lungs deeply through diffusion.)
  6. Most importantly, ozone if it gets close to the ground surface.
smog associated with photochemical energy
Smog and photochemical radiation

The source of hazardous chemicals

Because of the wide spectrum of contaminants that can be present, air pollution can impact people both outside and inside.

The following are examples of outdoor air pollution:

  • Hazardous chemicals, such as nitrogen oxides or sulphur dioxide,
  • From coal and gas combustion
  • Tobacco smoking

The following are examples of indoor air pollution:

  • Pollen mould
  • Tobacco smoke
  • Home chemicals dangerous gases, such as carbon monoxide or radon building materials, such as lead or asbestos

How do you guess there is smog in your area?

Smog is a type of visual air pollution that emerges as a thick haze. We can recognize it easily whenever we notice it. Secondly, when nitrogen oxide levels are elevated in the sky, the air adopts a brownish hue. To clarify, you may look towards the horizon to observe how much haze is nowadays present.

Furthermore, the government is also giving its part to monitor the air pollution in every city. Lastly, news channels, television stations, local radio, and newspapers are also playing a big role in reporting the potentially dangerous levels of smog.

How does the EPA (environmental protection agency) play its role?

The meteorology department or environmental protection agency (EPA) established an AQI (Air quality index) that broadcasts any type of air pollutants and ground-level ozone that is prevailing currently.

However, AQI is a standard index to assess the air quality which ranges from zero to 500 I.e., a range that analyses data. Lastly, the value of AQI is inversely proportional to human health. As we can say, the greater the value of this AQI index the higher the threat to human well-being and the atmosphere.

Consequences of smog

As we are already aware of smog composition, that not only harms human health but affects the plant’s growth as well. Here are some consequences that are given below…

  1. Lung diseases like asthma, chronic bronchitis.
  2. Eye’s irritation (badly affects our eyes and throats).
  3. Respiratory problems and above all, lung infections.
  4. Moreover, it slows down the growth of plants.
  5. Damages the plants and forests in considerable range.
  6. In addition, cardiovascular disease I.e., stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is also assessed
Smog and its effects
Smog and its effects

How can you prevent yourself from smog?

To avoid any health issues and prioritize well-being, here are some guidelines to follow that are helpful to avoid any complications…

  1. Be informed on weather and smog forecasts for the whole year.
  2. Be connected to the meteorology department that contains up-to-date news and assessments of present conditions.
  3. When ozone level is maximum at ground level, you need to shift your morning and evening workout routines and venues.
  4. For asthmatic patients, it is advised to take their inhaler with them to avoid any complications. They should seek medical attention if they find their lungs devastated.
  5. Stay inside, close your windows if it is not possible to avoid the affected living area.
  6. Avoid busy regions where you can be caught in traffic if you are experiencing some lung infections and you get to travel on smoggy days.
  7. You should close down your windows since road crossings can be a source of vehicle pollution.
  8. Avoid densely populated or crowded areas when you are walking and cycling to work.
  9. Try to avoid your emissions as much as possible. This can be done by restricting ourselves from unnecessary road tours.
  10. Try to avoid revving up the engine outside the home for a long time.


In conclusion, to prioritize health and well-being as well as minimize medical difficulties, one should assess the quality of the air or surroundings and be concerned about harmful conditions.

As previously mentioned, several toxic chemicals have been linked to health issues such as lung infections, cardiovascular illness, and, most notably, brain ailments such as stroke. When a person becomes a victim of one of these ailments, he or she should seek immediate medical assistance.

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