What is Smog and How To Save Yourself From Its Dangers in Lahore?
We are all aware of the dense smog that has engulfed Lahore as it is now beginning to interfere with everyday life. Citizens all over Punjab are facing troubles traveling to get to work and come home to their families. People are not only facing difficulty seeing but are also suffering from breathing issues as well as eye irritation.
What is Smog?
Let us first see exactly what smog is. The term smog was first coined by Dr. Henry Antione Des Voeux in London in 1900s when London suffered through the worst smoke and fog blanket all over it. Smog is not just fog and you have every right to be afraid of it since it contains pollutants such as nitrogen oxides as well as other volatile organic compounds that together form up Earth’s ozone layer. While ozone protects our world from solar ultraviolet radiation, it can also do us some harm and it all depends upon one factor: location.
When ozone is trapped at ground-level due to either heat inversion or other weather conditions such as excess pollution like the one Pakistan suffers through, it is what ends up causing eye irritation and respiratory distress in the form of smog.
Its factors such as automobile exhausts, power plants, factory smoke, as well as consumer products such as hairspray, car starter fluids, and even popcorn packaging can contribute to the problem that is smog. This doesn’t mean you should stop using the products that you use, it simply means that if, say all of Lahore or Karachi decided to one day stop using hairspray it would give way to a fraction of a difference in the smog intensity the cities are currently facing.
What Are We Doing About It?
Chief Meteorologist Mohammad Riaz claims that it is the lack of rain that is making the smog situation in Lahore much worse. The visibility on the motorways of Lahore dropped down to 200-300 meters on 31st October and this caused the officials to advise people on the motorway to turn their fog lights on just to be safe. This reminds the citizens of the similar smog situation Lahore faced last year.
Twitterati Speaks Up
People used Twitter to share their views on the current weather conditions in Lahore and their utter disdain at the government’s lack of action to counter the situation.
— Nabeel Khan (@hyp3rfr3ak) November 1, 2017
#Smog All over Punjab..
Be safe everyone.
Use masks especially during early morning and late evening.
Keep your children safe.
— Maheen Goel (@MaheenGoel1) November 1, 2017
Punjab: farmers are burning stubble. We've not seen sun in 3 days. Smog all over and it'l worsen. No eminent environmentalist is interested. pic.twitter.com/PAXfvdcsUI
— The Skin Doctor 🚩 National Security Advisor (HMP) (@thecyberbully13) November 1, 2017
— Anjum Iqbal – PTI (@AnjumIqbalPTI) October 30, 2017
— Anum Hamid 🇵🇰 (@anum_07) October 30, 2017
— Qaisar Javed (@iamQaisarJaved) October 30, 2017
Safety Measures You Can Take
There are a few safety measures you can take to protect yourself from the smog:
Avoid Traveling During Rush Hour:
If it is possible for you, try not to go out when it is rush hour. When there is more traffic outside, there will be more pollution which will make the smog as well as your breathing issues even worse. If however you must go out, try to wear a mask at all times so that you are protected against the smog.
- Less Outdoor Activities:It is better to avoid outdoor exercise sessions since the smog levels are higher in the morning which is when most people prefer to go out for a jog or a run. Until this ordeal passes, it is better to avoid going outdoors as much as possible.
- Anti-Inflammatory Foods:Try eating foods that are higher in medicinal compounds such as allicin and sulfhydryl. This is the stuff that makes garlic smell so strong but what most people don’t know is that it is an incredible immune booster that helps fight off dangerous infections. The toxins the smog brings may very well lower your body’s Vitamin E levels which can be found in vegetable oils, dry fruits, and leafy greens. It is better to stock up on these foods at a time like this to fight off the toxins the weather brings.
We can all hope that the smog clears up soon enough so that we can all go about our days normally again!