These days the most talked about environmental issue on all social platforms is about THE THICK FOG THAT HAS CIRCULATED LAHORE. When winters start the city of Lahore experience immense cold with a layer of fog but this year what people assumed to be fog, is actually a dangerous SMOG.
WHAT IS SMOG?
Smog is a thick dense layer of smoke that has engulfed the city of Lahore. The smoke causes itchy and watery eyes and respiratory problems. It is basically a permanent haze hanging over the city, which makes it difficult for people to commute their daily life as it causes obstruction in the eyes and is also hazardous for health.
This problem was always there in Lahore but has increased during the last five years as our country falls short of exercising environmental issues and in trying to rectify the problem.
IT IS AS IF LAHORE HAS TURNED INTO A GAS CHAMBER WITH A TOXIC CLOUD OF CHEMICALS AND SMOKE ALONG WITH OTHER DANGEROUS GASES SUCH AS CARBON MONOXIDE, NITROGEN DIOXIDE AND SULPHUR DIOXIDE WHICH HAVE ALSO MADE WAY.
WHY DOES IT HAPPEN?
The cause of smog is entirely man-made. Lahore is now considered as one of the most polluted cities in Asia. In winter months, all the pollutants tend to collect in the lower level of the atmosphere due to rains, cold spells and dry condition. It is caused by poor air pollution and the increase of toxic gases and fumes from the factories into the air as well as the increase of vehicles on the road. The gases emitted from the vehicles also increases the smog. The cutting down of trees and rapid industrialisation makes the matter even worse.
IS IT DANGEROUS?
Experts have said that the entire population of Lahore is at risk of getting diseases due to ever deteriorating ambient air quality. The high levels of dust and smog cause warming of the overall atmosphere and reduce visibility. Following the increased high levels of dust, the majority of commuters, travelling on the city roads especially on motorcycles, bicycles and on foot, are facing difficulty in breathing, eye-burning and nausea. Besides this, the residents of adjoining localities where construction work is going on are also suffering from this air- pollution, which has become a major source of asthma, lungs infection and blood pressure.
Doctors have even said that this smog will cause problems in the brain and heart as well. He further said that children were at greater risk of getting diseases due to weak immune system. Even those staying indoors are not free from the risk of exposure to pollution, as the Air polluted with fine particulate matters enters rooms so even the infants at home are also at risk of getting diseases. Such high level of air pollution also hinders the normal growth of brain of infants.
DUE TO ALL THESE REASONS, ALL THE FLIGHTS TO AND FROM LAHORE HAVE BEEN CANCELLED. ALSO, THE SCHOOLS HAVE BEEN CLOSED TILL THE SMOG CONTINUES TO PERSIST AND PEOPLE ARE FACING PROBLEMS GOING ABOUT THEIR DAILY ROUTINES. THIS COULD LEAD TO AN OVERALL DOWNFALL IN THE ECONOMY OF THE CITY.
8 Tips to avoid the smog and control it
- Protect yourself and your children by wearing facemasks.
- Use the public transport more and avoid using a lot of personal vehicles as this will increase the emission of gases.
- The government should install water fountains and water sprinklers on the streets and major areas to lower the smog level.
- Plant more trees.
- People should stay mostly indoors and keep the windows and doors closed always.
- Use environment-friendly paints and cleaning products.
- Stop the burning of wood at industrial levels.
- Turn off the engine of the vehicles whenever possible.
The only thing that can stop this smog is rainfall. Also, initiatives by the government of Punjab to plant more trees and creating an ecofriendly environment, proper disposal of waste and toxic fumes and gases. Clearing the air pollution through various ways can help solve the problems for the future.