Smog is categorised as air pollution that reduces visibility and is harmful to life. It is combination of two words smoke and fog. The term “smog” was first used in the early 1900s to describe a mix of fog and smoke. The smoke usually come from burning coal. Smog is common in industrial areas and remains a familiar sight in cities today.
Where Does Smog Come From!
Today, most of the smog we see is photochemical smog. When sunlight reacts with nitrous oxides and volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the atmosphere, photochemical smog is produced. Nitrogen oxides come from car exhausts, coal power plants, and factory emissions.
VOC’s release from gasoline, paints, and many cleaning solvents. When sunlight hits these chemicals, they form airborne particles and ground-level ozone—or smog.
Smog: Health and Protection Laws
Smog is unhealthy to humans and animals, and it can kill plants too. It is also ugly. It makes the sky grey or brown.
Smog is common in big cities with a lot of industries and traffic. Many countries (including “United States”) have created laws to protect human rights. Some law includes restrictions on what chemicals a factory can release into the atmosphere. Or when a factory can exhaust them.
Some communities have “The Burn day” when residents can burn waste such as leaves in their yards. These limits on chemicals released into the air reduce the amount of smog.
How Do We Reduce Smog!
Smog is still a problem in many places. Everyone can do their part to reduce it by changing few behaviors such as:
- Drive Less, walk more and use public transport where possible.
- Take care of your cars. Get a regular tune-up.
- Use High-octane engine oil.
- Avoid products that release high levels of VOCs. Example: use low-level VOC paints.
- Avoid gas-powered yard equipment, like use lawnmowers, electric appliances instead.