Smog is the chemical pollution of the atmosphere caused by human activity. The name comes from connecting words smoke and fog. This phenomenon is due to enriching atmosphere with particles, which normally are not its part, and which are detrimental to health. The initial designation referred to the serious problem of smog in London from the end of the 19th century.
The smog then was caused by burning large quantities of coal within the city. Modern smog, plenty of which can be found, for example, in Los Angeles, is a kind of pollution coming from the exhaust gases produced by internal combustion engines of cars and industrial machinery. Smog contains particles of soot from the smoke, sulphur dioxide, and other components Exposed to the sunlight, they interact with each other and produce secondary compounds, which are then blended with the primary emissions, creating photochemical smog. Atmospheric pollution in Los Angeles, Mexico City and other cities is more pronounced when the inversion traps the pollution close to the ground.
Scientifically, smog is divided into two types: reducing smog and oxidizing smog.
Reducing smog (also known as London, or winter smog), is the designation for the mixture of city and industrial smoke with mist, occurring during the year, typically during winter with the strong effect of inversions. Depending on the industrial pollution, winter smog is primarily composed of sulfur dioxide SO2 and of certain other substances, which are subject to oxidation easily. These substances often have a strong reducing effects on their surroundings. London smog is not known to have happened to the Rome time. In 1306, the King Edward I of England banned coal burn, but this step did not have a long duration. The situation gradually deteriorated until the 1950s of the 20th century, when there was a catastrophic situation in which thousands of people died because of smog in London (e.g., The Great Smog of 1952). In 1956, the Parliament declared the capital city a none-smoke zone. Thanks to this, there was a great reduce in the emissions of sulphur dioxide and the London smog has become a thing of the past. In London, the main problem today is the automotive smog.
The oxidizing smog was discovered in the 40s of the 20th century in the California City of Los Angeles. It is also known as California, Los Angeles, photochemical, or summer smog. This kind of smog has strong oxidation, aggressive, irritating (to the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract, eyes, etc.) and toxic effects. It belongs to the most serious problems of air pollution in Europe. The oxidizing smog concentrations exceed the levels set by the EU, and about 30% of the inhabitants of European cities are exposed to the smog. As a result of air pollution 0 thousand people are dying prematurely in Europe each year.
Smog is a serious problem in many cities and is detrimental to human health. Ground-level ozone, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and carbon monoxide are especially harmful to the elderly, children, and people with heart and lung disease, such as bronchitis and asthma. Smog can cause inflammation of your airways, to cut a vital lung capacity, which causes shortness of breath, pain when you breathe, wheezing, and a deep cough. It may also cause irritation to the eyes and nose, mucous membranes and disrupts in the body’s defenses against infection from the soil, increases susceptibility to the disease.
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