Smog is a form of air pollution that is produced in the atmosphere when sunlight reacts with nitrogen oxides and at least one volatile organic compound (VOC). When this reaction occurs, particles are released into the atmosphere, and oxygen at the ground level absorbs harmful compounds (ozone). All of this creates what we consider smog. Recent years have seen an increase in campaigns for the reduction of smog due to its harmful effects towards both humans and the environment.
Who is at a greater risk?
Smog affects everyone differently, depending on their lifestyle, health condition and age. The groups which are the most susceptible are:
Children: As children spend a lot of time outdoors, they are more prone to getting affected by smog. Also, their risk of developing asthma is quite high as it is the most common respiratory ailment among children
People with respiratory disorders: If someone already has respiratory problems like asthma, severe bronchitis or emphysema, they will experience a worsening of symptoms when exposed to smog as they are more vulnerable to the effects of ground-level ozone.
Adults who have high level of outdoor activity: If you exercise, cycle or jog outdoors or if you have a job that requires you to stay outdoors, you are more susceptible to the harms of ozone.
Air Quality Indicators for reference:
|Air Quality Index||Significance||Health Concerns|
|0 – 50||Good||Health concerns. This is very satisfactory AQI with no associated risks.|
|51 – 100||Moderate||Acceptable but may pose problems for a very small group of people who are extremely sensitive to air pollution.|
|101 – 151||Unhealthy for vulnerable groups||The less sensitive ones may get affected ut the general public is not likely to be affected.|
|151 – 200||Unhealthy||Everyone may experience discomfort, however, the worst affected will be the sensitive members.|
|201 – 300||Very unhealthy||Health alert as everyone may start experiencing the negative impact and sensitive members will experience serious repercussions.|
|301 – 500||Hazardous||An emergency condition as all the members of the population are likely to be adversly affected.|
|500 plus||Emergency||Not yet defined but it would be a situation of an exigency.|
What you can do to prevent smog:
The best approach to prevent damage from smog is to limit your outdoor activity. If ozone levels are high, you must stay indoors as much as possible. However, make sure that your homes and offices have a strong exhaust system. This is because the air pollution inside can many-a-times be more harmful than air outside. This happens due to household activities which produce volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as activities in the kitchen.
There are many Ayurveda hacks that can help limit the damage caused by ground-level ozone and air pollution.
If you think that by drinking filtered water you can help prevent or limit the damage of air pollution, you are absolutely wrong. Thing to ponder – you merely drink two to four litres of filtered water in a day. Against this, you inhale around 16,000 litres of toxic air every day. Imagine the kind of harm it does to you and your body!
How to reduce Smog?
A. Changing your Car Habits:
- Drive Less
- Maintain your Car
- Fuel up in cooler temperatures
- Purchase Hybrid or electric car
B. Changing your Consumption habits
- Avoid High VOC products
- Avoid gas-powered yard equipment
- Buy Local
- Be energy efficient in your home
C. Taking a Stand
- Don’t support organizations that have poor environmental practices
- Promote your stance