David Fang

08 Mar.

Smog

The term "smog" was first used in London during the early 1900's to describe the combination of smoke and fog. What we typically call "smog" today is a mixture of pollutants but is primarily made up of ground-level ozone.


Ozone can be beneficial or harmful depending on its location. The ozone located high above the Earth in the stratosphere protects human health and the environment, but ground-level ozone is responsible for the choking, coughing, and stinging eyes associated with smog.


Where Does Smog Come From?


Smog usually is produced through a complex set of photochemical reactions involving volatile organic compounds (VOC's) and nitrogen oxides in the presence of sunlight that result in the production of ozone. Smog-forming pollutants come from many sources, such as automobile exhausts, power plants, factories, and many consumer products, including paints, hair spray, and even plastic popcorn packaging. In typical urban areas, at least half of the smog precursors come from cars, buses, and trucks.


Severe smog problems exist in many major cities all around China, including capital Beijing, and over other cities such as Nanjing, Wuhan, Shanghai as well. In Beijing, there’s a saying that the longest distance in the world is not that between life and death but when we are right in front of the Tiananmen Square yet we can not see Chairman Mao. 



What Are The Effects Of Smog?


Smog is a combination of air pollutants that can injure health, harm the environment, and cause property damage.


Smog causes health problems such as difficulty in breathing, reduced resistance to lung infections and colds, eye irritation and asthma. This could be a long-term effect if it is not treated. The ozone in smog also inhibits plants growth and can cause widespread damage to crops and forest, and the haze reduces visibility. When people can’t go to work, they’re going to suffer a great deal of financial loss.


What can we do to reduce smog


Strategies that are required by law to reduce and control air emissions include changes in the composition of gasoline, use alternative fuels (such as natural gas and electricity), use restrictions imposed by individual communities, and shut down the highly-polluting factories. Innovative approaches are being taken by local governments across the country to reduce air pollution in nonattainment areas. These include: banning charcoal barbecues and wood burning in stoves or fireplaces when pollution levels are high; restricting traffic in congested areas; expanding or improving public transportation systems.



How can we minimize the effects of smog to our body?


As individuals, well, there are some ways that we can put them into practice.


Reduce outdoor activities, if you have to, then use a mask that can cover the mouth and nose properly


Drink more water than usual – this helps the kidneys flush out any toxins absorbed through the skin and lungs. 


Cut down on coffee and alcohol – these promote fluid loss and leach nutrients from the body. 


Build up your immunity with foods rich in vitamins. 


I think with the help of the government and ourselves, we can fight the smog eventually and successfully.





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