Smog

SmogThe other day there was a smog alert in Waterloo, which is somewhat of a rural region. Smog is a large collection of air pollutants in the air due to warmer weather conditions and high energy use, usually in heavily populated cities. I’ve been living in Toronto and smog is quite common, but I couldn’t believe that Waterloo has the same problem. Pulled from the Toronto Public Health website, the people at risk from smog are

  • Children
  • People with lung diseases and heart conditions
  • People who work, play sports or exercise outdoors
  • Pregnant women
  • People with asthma
  • Seniors
  • Smokers

When there is smog, some people may have difficulty breathing (shortness of breath) and suffer from irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat. If you are doing heavy exercises outside during a smog alert, you are intaking more air pollutants, so it’s best to avoid those activities.

The following tips are from airqualityontario.com:
How can we protect ourselves and reduce smog?

  • Reduce car use – all year round
  • Drive Clean
  • Turn off the lights
  • Set Your Air Conditioning Temperature a Few Degrees Higher
  • Limit use of small engine tools
  • Use air-friendly products
  • Delay exercising
  • Stay indoors
  • Don’t light up on smog alert days

Sources:
Smog – Toronto Public Health
Ministry of the Environment – Spare the Air Actions

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