Winter smog is almost here, which means that we’re back to that time of the year.
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 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 disease.
WHAT IS SMOG
Smog is basically a mixture of emissions under specific climate conditions: so industrial pollutants, car and other vehicle pollutants, open burning, incinerators all combine to make what is happening right now “winter smog”.
PERILS OF WINTER SMOG ON YOUR HEALTH
It can be dangerous to breathe in too much smog because smog contains a pollutant called ozone, and elevated ozone levels can have a variety of negative effects on your lungs. Thus leading to several health problems such as:
- Worsening of asthma symptoms
- Difficulty breathing and lung damage
- High levels of ozone can irritate your respiratory system, harm your lungs even after symptoms disappear
- Eye irritation
So what can you do to protect yourselves and your dear ones from winter smog?
Hot temperature and high humidity often correspond with high smog levels. This makes it important to stay in the shade and drink lots of fluids to stay hydrated, especially before, during, and after exercise.
PROTECT THOSE WITH HIGHER RISK OF HEALTH PROBLEMS
Pay special attention to children, seniors, those with lung problems (such as people with asthma), those with heart problems, and those who work outdoors.
LIMIT YOUR OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
Avoid exercise outdoors, especially from mid-morning to early evening, when smog levels are higher.
LEARN THE HAZARDS OF SMOG
Checking air quality updates and planning your day can be very effective. The 3 months winter smog season is the worst when we have furnaces, wood and a lot of fuel burning and with the # of cars on the roads, winter smog has become an issue.
The masks designed for industrial use are the most effective so wear the N95 instead of clinical or regular masks when you do go outside.
PLEASE DON’T BURN WOOD OR TRASH
Burning firewood and trash are among the major sources of particle pollution in many parts of the country.