Filtering the myths from the facts

Photograph: AFP

That is the fourth 12 months of seen smog in Punjab and similar to the smoke and dirt, there are rumors and half-baked theories about it which can be filling the air. 

Maybe the one level everybody agrees on is that this: smog is now a part of our seasonal calendar. The opposite factors are price separating into truth and fiction.

Delusion 1: It’s simply fog

Many individuals suppose that the thick cloud lowering visibility on the roads throughout winter is fog. Fog, merely put, is a visual aerosol of minute water droplets suspended within the air close to the Earth’s floor. Fog does certainly cut back visibility to lower than 1 km, however apart from that it’s completely innocent.

Actuality: It’s really smog not fog

Smog is air air pollution blended with winter fog to make a noxious cloud that not solely impairs visibility however has critical well being results. Smog is a extreme type of air air pollution and is distinct due to its smoky stench and barely yellow coloration. Because of atmospheric inversion the air air pollution is trapped close to the bottom, forming an actual life snow globe impact that traps us in a cloud of poisonous smoke.

Delusion 2: Smog poses minor well being considerations

Winter time means runny noses, congested chests, and the soundtrack of sniffles and hacking coughs. Smog is seen as a minor inconvenience to the eyes however total it’s thought of innocent if just a few small precautions are taken. Get a flu shot, and a face-mask, and also you’re good for the season.

Truth: Air air pollution is the 4th main reason for loss of life globally since 1990

Pakistan loses an estimated 135,000 folks yearly to air air pollution. Smog intensifies this air pollution near the floor, rising the chance of respiratory ailments, stroke, and cardiovascular episodes. The variety of folks coming in emergency wards has risen in smog season as a result of our healthcare system can’t cope.

Delusion 3: The polluted air is coming from India

Stubble burning in Indian Punjab, and the firecracker celebrations on Diwali are the primary culprits of smog and air air pollution 12 months spherical. It’s no coincidence that issues worsen as soon as Diwali passes and winds blow the air pollution throughout the border. This reasoning is closely promoted by the governments of each nations. Whereas we blame India, they blame us. So who really began the dumpster hearth?

Truth: We’re each accountable

Although there is no such thing as a denying that air air pollution is a transboundary problem, it’s not solely the fault of our neighboring nations. Punjab’s brick kilns burn gas that’s mainly trash, and stubble burning takes place on this facet of the border too. The gas utilized in our automobiles is crude and our power disaster means we burn extra diesel to maintain our turbines going than our neighbours. We’re contributing to the regional air air pollution; we will’t absolve ourselves of the blame.

Delusion 4: Smog is Punjab’s drawback

Smog and air air pollution are synonymous with Punjab, significantly Lahore. Because it’s a regional drawback the remainder of the nation doesn’t have to fret about it a lot.

Truth: Smog is Pakistan’s environmental disaster

Smog is seen air air pollution however the high quality of air throughout Pakistan has deteriorated prior to now decade. Smog isn’t a stationary phenomenon both that it’s going to stay restricted to a sure space. Sturdy winds can carry smog an excellent distance. Earlier this month smog was reported in Karachi.

Delusion 5: Air purifiers and face masks are sufficient to counter air air pollution

Shopping for an air air purifier and face masks designed particularly for air air pollution can filter out the pollution and preserve a protected setting in your house. The demand for air purifiers has elevated prior to now two years and the market is now flooded with them. Women and men and youngsters on bikes may forgo their helmets however the decrease halves of their faces are lined by fabric masks. We’re completely protected.

A poster as a part of the marketing campaign to stress the authorities to sort out smog. Supply: Aik Awam PK

Truth: All pollution can’t be filtered

Air purifiers and face masks can filter the fundamental toxins within the air however not the small particulate matter (PM) 2.5 that makes smog so harmful. Analysis has discovered that some air purifiers produce ozone in giant quantities to counter the odor of smoke. Utilizing ozone air purifiers can additional harm lungs and worsen bronchial asthma. Face masks don’t filter out the harmful PM 2.5 and within the case of kids are so huge for his or her faces they don’t present any safety in any respect. Material masks do little to assist.

Delusion 6: A rise in tree cowl will clear up the issue

Timber take up carbon dioxide and probably dangerous gases, resembling sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, from the air and launch oxygen. A rise in tree cowl may also cut back greenhouse gases. Is there something timber can’t clear up?

Truth: Timber gained’t clear up smog

Although nice at filtering many dangerous gases, timber are insufficient at filtering PM 2.5 essentially the most harmful factor of smog. In reality, a latest examine discovered that the flawed sorts of timber might improve the extent of ozone in polluted areas to dangerous levels, particularly if planted close to busy roads.

Smog is a fancy drawback with nobody resolution. It’ll take years to treatment the harm executed to the environment however figuring out the causes is an efficient begin as a result of it unifies stress teams and people in positions of affect to marketing campaign for the fitting modifications that take advantage of far reaching and lasting distinction.



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