Smog, a type of air pollution, is incredibly dangerous to the human population. While air pollution may not seem dangerous on a daily basis, poor air quality can quickly lead to life-threatening illnesses.
Smog itself can lead to a dangerous pollutant, ozone, occurring near the ground. While ozone is normally found safely high in the atmosphere, it’s poisonous to humans on the ground.
Here are two ways smog and ozone could be affecting your breathing and quality of life, and how you can prevent damage to your lungs.
It Takes Your Breath Away
If you live with a chronic breathing condition like asthma or cystic fibrosis, smog can be a major factor in your good or bad breathing days. Being exposed to high amount of smog and ozone can trigger asthma attacks, which can be life threatening if they are not treated quickly.
Those suffering from asthma and other chronic breathing conditions may wheeze, cough, or struggle to get a full breath of air. This can make them miss work, school, or be forced to go to the hospital for medical assistance.
You Cough Up A Lung
Okay, you won’t really cough up a lung, but throat and chest irritation from smog can lead to several problems with your respiratory system, even if you don’t have a chronic illness. Your throat may become irritated, making it hard to speak. You may also be unable to stop coughing.
While smog itself typically stops affecting you after you’re away from it for a few hours, if you’ve breathed in ozone, it can continue to harm your lungs long after your symptoms of coughing and throat irritation stop. Essentially, ozone can damage the lining of your lungs. That in itself could lead to trouble breathing, scarring, and other lung diseases.
You Can Protect Yourself
Most people don’t have to worry too much about smog. Unless you live in a major city or your local area has a higher-than-average ozone level, your risk is low. However, if you are vacationing somewhere warm or are headed to a city, it’s wise to check the ozone and air pollution levels before you go. You can find information on air quality by using the Air Quality Index published by the Environmental Protection Agency. Weather channels and websites also tend to have this information at the ready, so people can make good choices about going outside into the elements.
With some preparation and preventative measures, you can keep yourself and family away from smog and its consequences. Check your local forecast, and you’ll stay safe! For more information, contact a company like West Coast Smog.