Thursday, July 30, 2015

Hard-hitting facts about Smog

SMOG is a word coined from Smoke and Fog. Though 'smog' is a familiar word for most of us, little do we know of its origin, causes and effects!

Origin and causes: 

  • Smog is typically a type of air pollutant. 
  • Smog can be caused by burning of large amounts of coal within a city, containing soot particulates from smokesulphur dioxide and other components. 
  • Modern smog is a type of air pollution derived from vehicular emission from internal combustion engines and industrial fumes that react in the atmosphere with sunlight to form secondary pollutants that also combine with the primary emissions to form photochemical smog
  • In certain other cities, such as Delhi, smog severity is often aggravated by stubble burning in neighbouring agricultural areas. 


  • Smog is a serious problem in many cities and continues to harm human health. Ground-level ozonesulphur dioxidenitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide are especially harmful for senior citizens, children, and people with heart and lung conditions. 
  • It causes eye and nose irritation and it dries out the protective membranes of the nose and throat and interferes with the body's ability to fight infection, increasing susceptibility to illness.
  • High level of respiratory issues and lung problems are reported every year in India. 

Smog in Delhi: 

China gets all the attention when it comes to terrible air quality, but the truth is that the worst day in Beijing is really just an average day in Delhi. Though it gets far less notice, the air in Delhi is some of the most polluted on the planet. In fact, India’s citizens have some of the weakest lungs, highest rates of asthma and highest mortality rates from respiratory issues of any nation in the world.

The latest set of statistics detailing Delhi’s air pollution has revealed that the Indian capital is smoggier than its Chinese counterpart for the second year running.
Using admittedly limited official figures, Greenpeace India found New Delhi’s air last year had an average of 142.9 micrograms per cubic metre of the pollutant particulate PM2.5 — which is over 50% more than the Beijing average.
This reading is 13 times greater than the World Health Organisation’s annual recommendation, and 3.5 times that of the India’s air quality standard.
Even the lowest average PM2.5 reading — 132 micrograms per cubic metre —recorded by one of the few available air monitoring stations in Delhi is well above the highest reading from a Beijing’s station (98 micrograms per cubic metre).
The analysis also said that there were twice as many ‘bad’ air days in Delhi last year as there were in Beijing, and only a week’s worth of ‘excellent’ air where there were more than 100 days in the Chinese capital.
With little pressure on the government to resolve air quality issues from citizens or the media, Delhi’s air will continue to cause harm until people demand something better.

*Facts gathered from and


    Samuchit Enviro Tech.

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