Created By: Macie O'Brien

What is smog and how are we affected by it?

~Smog is a form of air pollution produced when sunlight causes hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides from automotive emissions to combine in a photochemical reaction. In simpler terms, smog is fog that has become mixed and polluted with smoke.

~So far, scientists have found that smog can cause several types of short-term health effects in the lungs: Ozone can irritate the respiratory system. When this happens, you might start coughing, feel an irritation in your throat, and/or experience an uncomfortable sensation in your chest. Ozone can reduce lung function. “lung function,” is the volume of air that you draw in when you take a full breath and the speed at which you are able to blow it out. Ozone can make it more difficult for you to breathe as you normally would. Ozone can aggravate asthma. When ozone levels are high, more asthma patients have asthma attacks that require doctor’s attention or the use of additional medication.

What can we do to prevent smog?

  • Turn off your engine when your vehicle is parked or waiting in line.

  • Refuel your vehicle during cooler evening hours.

  • Wait until the heat wave breaks to use gas-powered lawn mowers and yard equipment.

  • Avoid painting and using aerosol sprays until it cools off.

  • To the extent possible limit driving or use public transportation.