Smog – Poland vs Greece

Smog is a dense fog mixed with smoke or car exhaust fumes. It most often appears in large cities and industrial areas. It is created by pollutants such as dust and gases. The valleys are mostly exposed to smog. Which pollutants are the most harmful? Dioxins, furans and polycyclic hydrocarbons  are the most toxic, they adsorbed PM2.5 dust particles. An additional threat is the high concentrations of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide (they also increase under the conditions of temperature inversion).

Smog over an industrialized city

Causes of smog in Poland

  • Industry – The main cause of smog in Poland is industry, it is responsible for the emission of 21.1% of PM2.5 dust. The main problem are petrochemical plants, metal smelters, as well as the garment industry.
  • Transport – Road transport produces as much as 10% of PM2.5 in the atmosphere. Motor vehicles produce a lot of sulfur and nitrogen oxides, which have a negative impact on human health. The concentration of traffic pollution is highest in large cities near busy streets.
  • Agriculture – 2.1% of PM2.5 dust ends up in the atmosphere as a result of farm operations. The reason is using nitrogen fertilizers, which leads to the formation of ammonium ions that spread over long distances. They combine with pollutants from other sources, leading to the formation of particulate matter.

Causes of smog in Greece

  • Agriculture  Greece is famous for a wide variety of vegetables, fruits and plants, the production of which begins with cultivation. They grow on natural or artificial fertilizers, which contribute to the emission of ammonia.
  • Tourism – Due to besutiful values, this country has developed tourism, which is also associated with problems. Cars, planes, buses, motorcycles, ski lifts, snow groomers, snow cannons emit harmful compounds. They contribute to acid rainfall that destroys nature. They also cause noise that disturbs animals and may change their behavior.
  • Forest fires – Fires are also a big problem for the coastal country. A significant amount of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere, which begins to spread with the wind. The direct effect of fires is also total or partial damage to plants that are responsible for the production of oxygen.

Forest fire

How to protect yourself from smog?

Nowadays, the awareness of how smog affects health is clearly higher today than it was a few years ago. Still, many people do not realize that long-term exposure to inhalation of dust exposes us to serious diseases from the respiratory, cardiovascular and nervous systems. First of all, avoid being outside when the dust concentration exceeds the level considered relatively safe (in order to be up to date in Poland, you can install a mobile application or follow the website GIOŚ)Wearing anti-smog masks during periods of high pollution concentration.

How to prevent smog?

The most effective method of counteracting smog is the introduction with regulations that would ban using the old, substandard furnaces and the burning of poor-quality coal products,Limit car driving,Do not burn waste such as plastic, tires, clothes,Connecting single-family houses to the municipal network will eliminate the problem of burning in old stoves.