The Smog Problem Worsens in 2020

Written by on March 13, 2020 in Environmental Hazards with 0 Comments
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The most important thing for life, other than water, is air. Earth, the third planet from the Sun in Milky Way galaxy is the only known planet out of more than 2 billion galaxies out there that has a suitable atmosphere that can support life. Sadly, we are polluting this one and only known ‘suitable atmosphere’.

According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 4.2 million people die every year due to air pollution. By the number of lives lost per year, we can conclude that it is an alarming situation. On top of that, ninety-one percent of the world’s population right now is living in areas with polluted air.

The problem of air pollution is alike in rich developed countries and poor developing countries. The safe air quality index (AQI) according to WHO is below 100 AQI. While AQI above 150 is considered unhealthy for all groups. Below is a list of the top 5 polluted cities in the world.

Top Five most polluted cities in 2020

Average Highest Recorded AQI.

  • Dhaka, Bangladesh- 300 AQI
  • Hanoi, Vietnam- 295 AQI
  • Kolkata, India- 220 AQI
  • Delhi, India- 210 AQI
  • Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia- 200 AQI

Causes of the Problem:

The most significant cause of air pollution is the burning of fossil fuels. This combustion is vital for today’s wheel of life to turn. The major contributors to air pollution are fossil-fueled vehicles, power generators, waste incinerators, heating systems, agricultural waste, etc. Though governments around the world are trying to switch to green energy that will reduce the number of pollutants that are released daily into the air. Another factor is the sharp increase in the global population. The over-crowding in urban population is contributing momentously to the smog situation around the world.

The Impact on Health and Life:

Air pollution can cause several respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. The pollutant particles in the air can enter and damage our lungs. Also, the harmful chemicals in the air can cause many problems including skin and eye irritation. People living in cities with a curtain of smog are prone to stroke, heart diseases, lung cancer, COPD, acute respiratory disease, and asthma. The life in areas with heavy pollution take a toll on the daily lifestyle as the trade and other outdoor activities get limited.

Protection from harmful pollutants:

If you plan on traveling or are living in an area with AQI higher than 150, it is advisable that you use proper protective gear. These protective gears include smog masks, protective glasses, and clothing that will cover all your skin. You can also use a tracking app like mSpylite to track your family so they don’t stay too long in a high pollution area.

Verdict:

Air pollution is silent and lethal. The world should put a global effort in controlling, if not eradicating, smog from the major urban settlements around the world. Governments should make policies to control the number of pollutants entering the atmosphere and also ensure their enforcement. If the atmosphere keeps deteriorating at this pace, in hundred years the population that survives will be living in controlled air bubble houses and will wear body suits like astronauts to go out.

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