Just What is Smog?

Almost everyone has heard of smog and almost everyone knows that there are some dangers in the foggy and foul smelling fumes that tend to hang around highly industrialized or high population density areas. However, do you know just what smog is? Do you know what about it is so dangerous and how it affects you and your family? Most likely, you do not know all the answers to these questions. If you would like to know, then read on.

Just what is smog? The problem of smog first began in the nineteenth century when factories began burning coal and other substances in order to operate. The smoke from this burning then escaped into the air, but it could not escape very far, and the atmosphere kept the fumes in one general area. In modern times, the large majority of smog comes from vehicle emissions. Those noxious smelling fumes that come from a vehicle’s tailpipe are actually a very large contributor towards smog. This is why the smog problem is growing.

The smog itself can contain a number of different gasses, including Carbon Monoxide, which is highly toxic, ozone, and aldehyde. These chemicals can be dangerous on their own, but they become worse when they are exposed to the rays of the sun. Many of these gasses are photosensitive, meaning they undergo a transition once they react with the sunlight, making them even more toxic.

What does smog do? For one thing, smog tends to hang around. Once it is released into an environment, it becomes trapped and it does not dissipate very easily. As far as environmental concerns, smog can lead to problems of acid rain, which is quite dangerous for plant and animal life. Additionally, smog is a major factor in the global warming issues.

For people, smog poses a large health risk. Continued breathing of smog laden air can lead to cardiac and pulmonary issues. People can suffer from minor problems, like dry membranes and sinus irritation. People can also suffer from major issues like emphysema and even heart or lung failure.

Smog is a rather large issue, and since the majority of it is released from personal vehicles, the problem continues to grow as more and more vehicles are on the road. The government has recognized this problem and has begun steps to require smog checks on vehicles. Additionally, vehicle manufacturers are working on lower emissions options.

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