Basically, smog refers to a mixture of smoke - attributed to burning of fossil fuels in cars, factories, etc., and fog which forms a thick blanket near the surface of the Earth. As the smoke which comes in contact with fog in this case is most often attributed to pollution caused by cars, reducing the use of cars may seem to be the best method to do away with smog pollution.
That being said, not using the car is not at all a practical solution to this problem, and hence we need to opt for a combination of different ways to reduce smog levels in the surroundings, and its implications on our health and other aspects of our life.
Smog: Causes and Effects
As we mentioned earlier, smog is basically a type of air pollution - that can be attributed to the reaction of vehicle and industrial emissions in the atmosphere with sunlight. A thick blanket of smog can reduce the visibility on ground as well as in the air by a significant extent.
The chemicals which contribute to formation of smog includes harmful chemicals such as sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, etc., which are known to result in adverse health conditions in humans. The ill-effects of smog can range from shortness of breath to much more severe respiratory problems.
It is very harmful for small children, old aged people, as well as those individuals who suffer from lung and heart problems. At the same time, the chemicals that we mentioned above make natural fog heavier and darker, thus creating a blanket of smog which reduces visibility to less than 10 feet at times. It can bring the entire transport system to a standstill, and add the burden on the economy.
How to Reduce Smog Levels?
As car pollution is the biggest culprit when it comes to smog formation, working on the same can be helpful to stop smog pollution. However we can't just stop using the car altogether, and thus a better option is to use the car efficiently. Planning your trips in advance and completing all your errands in one go instead of doing different things at different times can reduce the use of car and in turn the amount of pollution you cause.
Ideally, you should walk or cycle to the superstore in your neighborhood, instead of using the car for such short trips. Experts suggest that proper maintenance of the car, turning the engine off when idling at the traffic light for more than 15 seconds, using good quality fuel, etc., can also help reduce pollution that eventually results in smog.
Opting for public transport twice a week can also help you reduce air pollution by a great extent. If that's not possible, you can talk to your colleagues and start a car pool wherein the members of car pool will take turns in ferrying each other to the workplace and back.
Resorting to hybrid cars is also a good option, as these cars switch between internal combustion engine and electric motor, thus reducing the amount of pollution by a certain extent. All these measures won't just help you get rid of smog, but also make sure that you stay healthy and help you save some of your hard-earned money which you would otherwise spend on fuel and medication.
There also exist other causes of air pollution which contribute to formation of smog. Though the amount of harmful emissions is low, even small home equipment which uses gasoline - such as your gas-powered lawn mower, tend to contribute to smog, and hence should be replaced with electrical products.
As far as industrial emission contributing to smog formation is concerned, you can indirectly contribute your bit by not using the products that these industries produce, using them in a responsible manner or recycling/reusing them which will help in decreasing the need of producing these products, and - in turn, reduce the pollution caused by industrial emission.
As trivial as these methods of reducing smog may seem, they can work wonders when all of us start following them religiously. Going by the rate at which air pollution in increasing, the smog problem in major cities of the world is bound to worsen with time.
That being said, there is no doubt about the fact that the implementation of these steps to tackle smog in the urban areas is the need of the hour. If we don't tackle the smog problem now, the severity of its implications on our health as well as economy will continue to increase.