Air pollution in any form is dangerous. Existence of toxic gases like the excess amount of carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide or other particles (e.g. PM0,3, PM2.5, PM10) have a definite health risk.
Therefore, you need to understand the pollutants closely to so that you can identify which situation is hazardous for your health so that you can take the precautions to safeguard yourself.
At the outset, do you even know the difference between weather forecasts that mention fog, smog or haze?
What is Fog?
The occurrence of fog takes place when the prevailing air has water droplets in it. The warm water in the air as cools down very quickly and these droplets become visible, causing fog. If the definition of fog is scrutinized well, you may conclude that fog is not a mainstream pollutant. However, the occurrence of fog can lead to many mishaps, delays, and other accidents. Depending upon the geographic regions, there is a variety of fog occurrences you will come across. Some are ice fog, valley fog, etc. It is not quite harmful if the fog occurs. However, at times, you might need to use filtration masks to prevent yourself from inhaling thick air.
What is Smog?
Hazardous smoke emitted from vehicles, factories, the burning of firecrackers, and other related sources meet with fog and combine to form hanging air heavy with toxins. This is termed as smog. It is extremely perilous and harmful for any living beings’ respiratory system. To manage in smog conditions, the use of air purifiers, filtration masks, etc. are mandatory. Major health risks are associated with the inhalation of this toxic air. Residents of heavily populated cities and industrial zones are the ultimate victims of this poisonous smog.
What is Haze?
Haze occurs when foreign bodies or pollutants hang in the air, unlike water droplets. Rays of light reflect on these unsettled pollutants causing a blurry vision, which is extremely dangerous. Generally, haze does not occur near the source of air pollution (e.g. atmospheric pollutants from a volcano eruption or forest fire thousands of kilometers away). It occurs at places where the wind finally settles the pollutants. Therefore, this kind of air pollution is considered more harmful. Keeping a regular check on AQI (Air Quality Index) readings may help track the affected areas so that the concerned departments can use preventive measures to safeguard the environment and all living beings.
As you learn more about the danger of these air pollutants, you can take up preventive steps to minimize air pollution, preserve our Earth and improve your own health.