Smog is a kind of intense air pollution formed as a result of fog and air pollutants such as Sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, smoke and other particles in the air. Classic smog occurs due to burning of large amounts of coal, plastic, vehicular and industrial emissions. It is visible and can be sensed by human beings. Smog usually prevails in plain areas; Lahore, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Sheikhupura, Kasur etc. It is harmful for the health of human beings and affects infants, teens, old aged people, outdoor workers and people with respiratory issues. Areas with heavy smog affects the+ citizens of that area in the following ways:
- Eyes and throat irritation
- Chest congestion
- Sneezing & coughing
- Lung infection
- Burning of the eyes
- Polluted airways
Smog is caused due to the reasons stated below:
- Coal being used as a fuel in automobiles
Coal is a form of natural resource used for various purposes. A basic purpose of coal is its usage as a fuel in the vehicles. Whenever a vehicle starts, coal is burned in the form of fuel and gives the vehicle power to move.
- Emissions from coal combustion
Burning of coal produces large amounts of carbon dioxide/carbon monoxide, mercury emissions and other dangerous gaseous metals.
- Transport pollutants
Other pollutants from vehicles are released into the air and mix with other transport pollutants to make mixture of harmful gases.
- Smoke and others emissions from factory chimneys
Industrial areas are usually hit by smog due to emissions from factory burnings and production of goods.
- Forest/ Agriculture and Stubble crop burnings
Burning of trees, agricultural lands and field crops result in the production of injurious gases which get mix with fog to form smog.
- Photochemical reactions
Photochemical Reactions take place as a result of the absorption of energy in the form of light. Other than this, these are the reactions that take place through the fusion of various chemicals in the air with sunlight.
- Cutting of trees and other plantation
Deforestation is a major result of smog and weather changes in the plain areas. Plants and trees maintain the temperature of an area and keeps it cool. Cutting of trees results in warming, climate change and things like “smog” to persist.
Precautions to be taken to avoid the effect of smog:
- Avoid being outdoors and limit your open-air activities
- Drink plenty of water & wash your eyes frequently
- Use face masks & glasses to protect your eyes
- When indoors, close windows & other inlets in house
- Avoid vigorous work outdoors
- Stay away from high traffic areas
- If driving is unavoidable, drive slow & use headlights plus fog lights
Necessary preventions to deal with smog:
- Keep respiratory medication handy
- Take flu shots or vaccinations
- Avoid exposure to aerosol products
- Maintain ventilation in your houses
- Increase fluid intake
- Do breathing control exercises
- Consume resveratrol rich foods
Punjab Group of Colleges, the Largest Educational Network in Pakistan, is playing its part to make Pakistan Smog Free through its SMOG FREE PAKISTAN Campaign. Punjab Group of Colleges has provided special air pollution filter masks to its students. Moreover, awareness sessions and seminars have been conducted in different campuses to educate maximum students about how to keep themselves safe from the effect of smog. In this era of technology and advancement, PGC is also running this campaign digitally via social media platforms regarding Smog Free Pakistan. PGC ensures that its students are healthy and sound as they come to the college to study.
Furthermore, PGC is also combatting the adversity of Smog through it “Make Pakistan Green” campaign. Under Make Pakistan Green, PGC is steadfast in its effort to plant maximum trees by actively engaging its students all over the Punjab to let this beautiful country maintain nature. Through Make Pakistan Green, PGC has successfully planted over 2.5 million trees all over Punjab. Plantation helps in reducing the effect of smog. Planting results in numerous benefits to the environment.
If trees are planted around one’s house, it gives rise to a more pleasant and safe surrounding to breathe in. It fights against climate change, increases the quality of life and creates a healthy community to live in. Consequently, setting roots of a tree is the best way to save the environment from harmful effects of air pollution. Trees help in reducing global warming and help in maintaining a suitable climate. Plants take in all the carbon dioxide from the environment and release oxygen into the surroundings. They also increase the fertility of the soil, do not let the soil to erode, store water and helps in cooling down hot urban cities.
How plantation helps in combatting smog:
- Helps in reducing Climate Change
- Helps in the Purification of Air
- Cools Down the Streets
- Natural Air Conditioning
Another initiative taken by PGC in battling against air pollution is “Go Green”. Under this “Go Green” initiative, two projects of the Largest Educational Network of Pakistan; University of Central Punjab and Capital University of Science and Technology, have been fully powered by Solar Technology. This was done to ensure maximum usage of natural resources and minimum pollution, thus increasing the overall efficiency and giving rise to a Smog Free Pakistan.
Lastly, it is important and mandatory for all of us to play or roles in saving our environment and country from this hazardous situation by contributing in the “Green Pakistan Movement”. It is our duty to spread awareness and educate people regarding the causes, precautions and preventive measures to minimize the effect of Smog. Also, we should reinforce the significance of plantation in reducing the impact of Smog.