Bosna i Hercegovina

What is smog?

SMOG is an atmospheric cloud of health-damaging chemicals and dust that is created by a combination of four environmental factors:

  • pollution generated by us – people
  • haze
  • lack of wind
  • low temperature

SMOG has been a serious problem for years. But are we all aware of what causes smog? During the peak pollution period, the heating season, the air we breathe is no longer clear. A dense suspension of particles floats above the ground, and we inhale:

  • dusts
  • lead
  • acid gases
  • suplhur dioxide
  • nitrogen oxides
  • hydrocarbons

According to forecasts by the European Environment Agency (EEA) several years ago, if measures to reduce emissions of harmful gases and dust are not carried out, in 2030 the level of air pollution in Polish cities will be among the highest in the EU. This, in turn, means a deterioration in the health of Polish women and men.

Thus, the battle continues. In order to win it, we need to be aware of the causes of smog and who are the biggest culprits in this subject.

Smog is destroying our health

Because of poor air quality, we breathe harder, feel worse, and are more likely to get infections, such as upper respiratory tract infections. But that’s not all. Let’s remember that every year people die as a result of smog poisoning. We need to be aware that if nothing or little changes, the death rate from breathing poisoned air will continue to rise.

Contaminated air contributes to development:

  • cancers
  • chronic lung diseases
  • asthma and allergies
  • coronary heart disease and heart failure
  • shortness of breath
  • hypertension
  • conjunctivitis
  • problems with the throat, larynx, bronchi

It won’t be too much to say that SMOG = disease and death

The main reasons – smog might not exist?

Many of us look for the causes of smog and heavy pollution in road transportation and heavy industry. This is a mistake. According to the National Center for Balancing and Managing Emissions, households are the biggest source of air pollution in Poland.

Households are responsible for 46% of emissions of harmful PM10 particulate matter, which is impressive when compared to industry (20%) and road transportation (8%). A bigger gap can be seen in emissions of the carcinogen benzopyrene. Households are as much as 84% to blame here, industry 10%, and road transport just 1% (2017 National Balancing and Emissions Management Center data).

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT: smog in the summer is practically non-existent, despite heavy traffic (holiday trips). It appears in winter, when we heat our homes. Then we can see the smog very clearly. So – although car traffic is a source of pollution (emissions of nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere) – car engines are not the main cause of smog.

CONCLUSION: not properly heated residential buildings pollute the air the most and are the main cause of smog.

Home heating – what are we doing wrong?

Wrong heating of households means non-environmental heating of single-family houses and townhouses. The problem is: burning coal, wood, tires, garbage (!).

Overheating the rooms is also really bad. Using too much heating fuel causes excessive release of dangerous combustion products into the atmosphere.

Heating control helps fight smog

Wise use of energy reduces the formation of harmful SMOG (reduces the causes of smog).

New heating technologies are helping to manage energy wisely.

Heating control devices (including temperature thermostats) are not only a way to increase comfort. It’s also a way to protect nature.

Adjusting the temperature according to the function of the rooms (e.g., cooler in the bedroom, warmer in the living room) is environmentally friendly, as it reduces emissions of byproducts of heating fuel combustion.

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