China’s Smoked Meat: Creating More Dangerous Smog

Summer is that time of the year when smog is at its worst in many urban areas. Smog is particularly dangerous on hot days as an insidious type of air pollution. Sometimes smog is due to smoking meat. High levels of ozone can affect your lungs in a range of different ways. Smog is most common in large cities, but people who live in suburban areas must also be mindful of its risks. It is also prudent to be aware of smog conditions if you need to cross a metropolitan region during a family holiday or a road trip.

Concerns about the environment and the climate in the media are becoming more and more familiar with images of smog-packed urban centers in China. It looks like science-fiction movie where high buildings are not visible. The sun barely lights up a tiny portion of grey and brown sky. No matter where you live in China, you should take measures, mainly when smog warnings are high in your area.

What Is Smog?

Smog in China

Smog comes from two words:“smoke” and “fog.” It is a combination of different gases and water vapor, and it can cause difficulties in breathing. It’s a yellowish or blackish fog created mainly by a mix of air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, and other organic compounds. The term “smog” describes a mixture of emissions under specific climate conditions. These emissions are industrial, car, and other vehicle pollutants, open burningly, and incinerators. Usually, the first smog occurs in the summer in the United States. Smog is more visible in winter in London. Smog occurs as sunlight combines with hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides. In the upper atmosphere, ozone, a colorless, odorless gas, can be useful but is harmful for breathing when present in the earth.

Smog From Smoked Meat

A Chinese city is fighting this problem by banning most wood-pizza ovens and by setting up over 100 machines to smoke food without polluting the air. A Chinese daily reports that in Dazhou City in the southwest Sichuan Province of China, officers expect that these machines will reduce the smog problem. Smoking meat is a tradition in Sichuan Province during the February Spring Festival. The large volume of meat smoking leads to local pollution.

During the festival preparations, the air is even more polluted when residents smoke more meat. Nevertheless, some people are not convinced that smoked meat is the primary smog source for Dazhou. Environmental researchers performed several studies to see the impact of smoking meat in and around Dazhou on air quality. They analyzed small airborne particles called PM2.5 that are produced and can affect the lungs and overall health. The researchers found that the consistency of air at 50 meters did not change from smoking meat. Nonetheless, the air looks hazy with large amounts of PM2.5.

How Can Smog Affect Health?

Harmful effects of Smog

Because of its effects on ozone levels, exposure to smog can lead to various kinds of short-term health problems.

For instance, high levels of ozone can cause the throat or chest irritation that usually lasts for a few hours after exposure to smog. However, even after symptoms disappear, ozone effects can continue to damage the lungs.

Exposure to high smog ozone levels can cause asthma attacks when you have dormant asthma.

Smog can make it hard to breathe because it causes breathing difficulties and lung damage particularly during exercise.

It should be noted that smog has a different effect on each person, and some people are more vulnerable to its harmful effects. For instance, smoggy days are particularly hard for children, the elderly, and people with asthma.

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