HomeBlogSmog – definition, effect and causes, what is air pollution?

Smog – definition, effect and causes, what is air pollution?

Smog – definition and information about the phenomenon

The word “smog” is a combination of the English words “smoke” and “fog”. This combination of words has spread throughout the world, perfectly describing the phenomenon. It can be stated that smog is just such an artificial fog that was created in an unnatural way as a result of human activities and certain unfavourable circumstances of nature.

There are two main types of smog, distinguished according to the place and conditions of formation. The first one is Los Angeles smog, which is formed primarily in the summer months and can be found mainly in subtropical zones, and the second one is so-called London smog, more characteristic of the temperate climatic zone and forming mainly from November to January (sometimes March). These 2 types of smog also differ in composition. London smog is primarily a mixture of various particulate matters, enriched with sulphur, nitrogen or carbon oxides, but also with soot. Los Angeles smog consists mainly of gases, including carbon oxides, nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbons.

Smog – causes of air pollution

Smog is formed by mixing air with pollutants and exhaust gases resulting from human activities. The factors which are responsible for this include factories, an increasing number of cars, burning coal, wood and other solid fuels in stoves. Its formation is also determined by the weather, climate and general conditions of the area. It will be much more difficult to get rid of pollutants when a city is in a valley and the windless weather prevents them from being spread and thinned out, making them hang over the city.

Unfortunately, the phenomenon of spreading pollutants to other areas, i.e. the so-called inflow smog is also present. Certainly this is how the air is purified in one place, but it becomes more polluted in another. It is also worth knowing that the smog present in Poland is not only London smog, but also Los Angeles smog, resulting from traffic pollution.

Smog – results of air pollution

The effects of air pollution are very noticeable – thick smoke hanging over the city is easily noticed and inhabitants should not breathe polluted air. The effects of smog, however, are much more far-reaching than some people think – it has a significant impact on human health, with long exposure leading to:

  • the development of allergies and asthma
  • the induction of respiratory failure
  • decreased immunity of the body
  • the induction of circulatory system and heart diseases
  • the development of neoplastic diseases.

The effects of air pollution can also be experienced indirectly, for example by eating plants or meat from animals that were exposed to such conditions. This is because aggressive chemical factors affect not only people, but animals, plants, and materials as well (including building materials). The effects of air pollution are sometimes delayed, but in other cases visible immediately. The best example is the famous Great London Smog in 1952. While it lasted for only 5 days, it caused 4,000 deaths related to respiratory complications. A further 8,000 people died in the following weeks. The effects of the smog were so catastrophic that to this day, governments wrestle with how to reduce its impact.

References:
https://encyklopedia.pwn.pl/haslo/smog;3976775.html http://bonavita.pl/smog-przyczyny-skutki-ochrona-oraz-wplyw-na-zdrowie http://www.ekologia.pl/wiedza/slowniki/leksykon-ekologii-i-ochrony-srodowiska/smog https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smog

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