Something we never imagined we’d have to be careful of doing – breathing. Lahore’s Air Quality equivalent to smoking over 20 cigarettes a day

WHAT IS SMOG?

What is smog? In the simplest words, it’s a combination of smoke and fog. The word was first used in the 20th century to describe the thick grey haze covering different cities throughout the world. Smog levels crossed 400 in Lahore in the past week, according to the Air Quality Index “300-500 is the 6th and worst quality of air, labeled hazardous”

According to the Air Quality Index any number between “300-500 is the 6th and worst quality of air, labeled hazardous”- Lahore was at 400.

WHY DOES IT SHOW UP IN RANDOM PLACES?

Why does smog affect some areas but not others? Both industrial smog (mainly from coal emissions) and photochemical smog (mainly from vehicle emissions) are a combination of man made pollution with local weather and geography humidity, dryness, sunlight, mountains absolutely anything.

Smog isn’t just aesthetically unappealing, but both types of smog cause irritation in the eyes, nose, throat. It can aggravate health conditions such as asthma and increase the risk of respiratory conditions like bronchitis.

IS SMOG DANGEROUS?

Exposure to smog can be very dangerous for children, the elderly and pregnant women – it’s been linked to cause low birth weight and potential birth defects. It can also damage crops and make them more prone to insect infestations.

Since smog is mainly because of the burning of fossil fuels – the only possible way of getting relief from it is if the world moves away to renewable energy resources instead. A good place to start is by limiting the wasteful use of energy, from coal burning for factories to simply using your cars a little less can make a huge difference collectively.

HOW YOU CAN STAY SAFE :

Until revisionary steps are taken, here’s what you can do to protect yourselves from the terrifying effects of smog:

  • Get yourselves a face mask, not the surgical or cloth mask, those don’t help at all. You need at least an “N95 mask” to protect you as much as possible from the toxic air.
  • At home, if possible, invest in an air humidifier/ purifier – yes the smog can affect you indoors too.
  • Air filtering plants! If you don’t want to invest in a machine to do it, get yourself plants that filter the air naturally. Aloe Vera, Peace Lilies, English Ivy, Devils Ivy and Rubber plants to name a few.
  • Try not to travel during rush hours, the longer you are outside the worse the air is for you. If it’s not a necessary trip, try to plan it around the rush hours.

  • Stop smoking immediately – the air quality in Lahore right now is equivalent to smoking over 20 cigarettes a day, you don’t need to worsen it for your lungs to add more smokes on top of that, since you won’t just be harming yourselves but passively harming others with the smoke you emit as well.

Everyone has to take charge and start protecting yourselves as much as possible, this isn’t just bad weather, it’s literal toxic air.

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