In its most primitive and basic form, smog air pollution is the result of the burning of fossil fuels.
Photochemical smog air pollution is a mixture of various chemicals that react with sunlight to produce new chemicals.
ozone (a primary ingredient in urban smog), particulate matter, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide
can have numerous effects on human health, including respiratory problems, hospitalization for heart or lung disease, and even premature death.
"In our last report we had an estimate of over 175 million Americans who live in areas in this country that we gave an F (failing grade) for air pollution," Nolan said
people most at risk include children, senior citizens, people with lung diseases such as asthma and those who work or exercise outdoors.
The five-year-old children of city mothers who regularly breathed in car- and truck-polluted air when they were pregnant scored significantly lower on IQ tests than kids with less exposure
pre-natal exposure to air pollution could have the same harmful effects on brain development as lead exposure and helps explain why inner city kids often do worse academically than wealthier youngsters
Emerging primarily as a result of the Industrial Revolution, industrial smog is perhaps often portrayed as huge gray smokestacks coming out chimneys of factories.
arises mainly from the combustion process by motor vehicles, as well as the increased use of fossil fuels for heating, industry, and transportation
along with slashing-and-burning of trees and agricultural organic wastes, led to large emissions of two major primary pollutants, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides
Burning coal is a leading cause of smog
In an average year, a typical coal plant generates:
3,700,000 tons of carbon dioxide
10,000 tons of sulfur dioxide
500 tons of small airborne particles
10,200 tons of nitrogen oxide
720 tons of carbon monoxide
220 tons of hydrocarbons
170 pounds of mercury
225 pounds of arsenic
114 pounds of lead, 4 pounds of cadmium, other toxic heavy metals, and trace amounts of uranium.
Scientists are continually documenting lung damage from ozone exposure at lower concentrations smog
global warming, which is ushering in more and hotter hot summer days, is expected to make air pollution worse.
It can lead to headaches, a sensation of burning eyes, shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing, and can also cause lung inflammation and an increased risk of heart attack.
Environmental campaigners have argued that smog levels in London in particular are routinely higher than what is acceptable under EU pollution laws.
The Obama administration’s proposal sets a primary standard for ground-level ozone of no more than 0.060 to 0.070 parts per million, to be phased in over two decades.
The new rule would replace the standard of 0.075 parts per million imposed by the Bush administration
The previous standard of 0.084 parts per million was set in 1997 by the Clinton administration.
The agency estimated that complying with the new standard would cost $19 billion to $90 billion a year by 2020, to be largely borne by manufacturers, oil refiners and utilities.
standard would force hundreds of counties that meet the current law to take costly steps to get back into compliance.
If the 0.070 limit is adopted, 515 counties would be out of compliance. Only 15 of the 675 monitored counties now meet the 0.060 standard.
Penalties for noncompliance include fines and loss of federal highway financing.
if the stricter standard is adopted, as many as 12,000 premature deaths per year from heart or lung diseases could be avoided, along with thousands of cases of bronchitis, asthma and nonfatal heart attacks.
a fog made heavier and darker by smoke and chemical fumes; also : a photochemical haze caused by the action of solar ultraviolet radiation on atmosphere polluted with hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen especially from automobile exhaust