Winter smog in Lahore came earlier than we expected and it’s not been an easy time since then.
Did you know that the WHO has ranked air pollution as one of top 10 preventable causes of death? And Pakistan, unfortunately is ranked in the list of the world’s worst air quality when it comes to winter smog, that violates all health guidelines and you are at the risk of lung cancer and respiratory infections, but also conditions including stroke, cardiovascular disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases?
WHAT IS SMOG?
“Smog” is described as a mixture of emissions under specific climate conditions: industrial pollutants, car and other vehicle pollutants, open burning, incinerators.
HOW DOES SMOG AFFECT YOUR HEALTH?
Some people are more sensitive to the effects of smog and air pollution than others, including those with existing chest, lung or heart complaints. The first health signs of smog may be irritation in the throat, nose, eyes or lungs and breathing may be affected
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 can lead to several different types of health problems.
CAUSES OF SMOG IN WINTERS
While air pollution is the major cause of smog.
- Construction activity and industrial production is generally ramped up during winters due to a change in weather, which results in more dust entering the environment.
- ehicular emissions are another prominent cause of air pollution as the pollution from vehicles also remains trapped in the environment due to lower wind movement during winters.
- The advent of winters also means the beginning of new cropping season so millions of tons of paddy from the previous yield is burned away by the farmers,which inadvertently causes a rise in air pollution.
STEPS TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM SMOG
- Limit your outdoor activities
- Cleaning indoor air so try getting an air purifier or use indoor plants that purify the air, such as Aloe Vera, Indian Basil and Spider Plant and even snake plant.
- Choose effective face protection like face masks.
- Keep up to date with weather forecasts and smog throughout the year.
- Avoid exercising in smoggy conditions and stay hydrated
- If you have respiratory conditions and need to travel on smoggy days, avoid congested areas where you may get stuck in traffic jams
- Keep your own emissions to a minimum like replacing a regular light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb eliminates about 136 kilograms of carbon dioxide a year.
- Don’t burn wood or trash.