Thursday, March 3, 2011
Smog is a type of air pollution ; the word "smog" is a portmateau of smoke and fog. Modern smog is a type of air pollution derived from vehicular emission from internal combustion engine and industrial fumes that react in the atmosphere with sunlight to form secondary pollutants that also combine with the primary emissions to form photochemical fog. Smog is also caused by large amounts of coal burning in an area caused by a mixture of smoke and sulfur dioxide.
In the 1950s a new type of smog, known as photochemical smog, was first described. The compound when sunlight hits various pollutants in the air and forms a mix of inimical chemicals that can be very dangerous. A photochemical smog is the chemical reaction of sunlight, nitro oxide (NOx) and volatile organic compound (VOCs) in the atmosphere, which leaves airborne particles (called particulate matter) and ground level zone]
Nitrogen oxides are released by nitrogen and oxygen in the air reacting together under high temperature such as in the exhaust of fossil fuel-burning engines in cars, trucks, coal power plants, and industrial manufacturing factories. VOCs are released from man-made sources such as gasoline (petrol), paints, solvents, pestisides, and biogenic sources, such as pine and citrus tree emissions.
Smog is a serious problem in many cities and continues to harm human health. Ground level-zone, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide are especially harmful for senior citizens, children, and people with heart and lung conditions such as emphysema, bronchitis, and asthma. It can inflame breathing passages, decrease the lungs' working capacity, cause shortness of breath, pain when inhaling deeply, wheezing, and coughing. It can cause eye and nose irritation and it dries out the protective membranes of the nose and throat and interferes with the body's ability to fight infection, increasing susceptibility to illness. Hospital admissions and respiratory deaths often increase during periods when ozone levels are high.
The U.S. EPA has developed an Air Quality index to help explain air pollution levels to the general public. 8 hour average ozone concentrations of 85 to 104 ppbv are described as "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups", 105 ppbv to 124 ppbv as "unhealthy" and 125 ppb to 404 ppb as "very unhealthy". The "very unhealthy" range for some other pollutants are: 355 μg m−3 - 424 μg m−3 for PM10; 15.5 ppm - 30.4ppm for CO and 0.65 ppm - 1.24 ppm for NO2.
The Ontario Medical Association announced that smog is responsible for an estimated 9,500 premature deaths in the province each year.
A 20-year American Cancer Society study found that cumulative exposure also increases the likelihood of premature death from a respiratory disease, implying the 8-hour standard may be insufficient.
Smog can form in almost any climate where industries or cities release large amounts of air pollution, such as smoke or gases. However, it is worse during periods of warmer, sunnier weather when the upper air is warm enough to inhibit vertical circulation. It is especially prevalent in geologic basins encircled by hills or mountains. It often stays for an extended period of time over densely populated cities or urban areas, such as London, Atlanta, Houston, Phoenix, Las Vegas, New Delhi, New york,Cairo, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Sao Paulo, Mexico city, Santiago of Chile, Toronto, Milan, Athens, Beijing, Shanghai, Manila, Hong Kong, Seoul, the Randstad or Ruhr Area and can build up to dangerous levels.