What is Sulfurous smog?
Sulfurous smog is a combination of sulfur dioxide, smoke, and fog. Sulfur dioxide is released into the air due to fossil fuels that are rich in sulfur such as coal. When fossil fuels like coal are burned, it releases tiny particles into the air that mix with other pollutants. The result is sulfurous smog!
Unlike photochemical smog, which is linked to sunlight and warm climates, sulfurous smog occurs more commonly in cold weather environments or areas where there isn’t much sunshine or heat.
Q: What is sulfurous smog?
A: Sulfurous smog is a type of air pollution that is characterized by the presence of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and other sulfur compounds. It is often formed when fossil fuels such as coal and oil are burned, and it can have negative impacts on human health and the environment.
Q: What are the sources of sulfurous smog?
A: Sulfurous smog is often formed when fossil fuels such as coal and oil are burned, particularly in power plants and industrial facilities. It can also be produced by the burning of fossil fuels in transportation, such as in cars and airplanes.
Q: What are the health effects of sulfurous smog?
A: Sulfurous smog can have negative impacts on human health, particularly for people who are exposed to high levels of it over long periods of time. Short-term exposure to high levels of sulfur dioxide can cause respiratory problems, such as coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. Long-term exposure can lead to more serious health problems, including lung damage and heart disease.
Q: How can sulfurous smog be reduced or prevented?
A: There are a number of ways that sulfurous smog can be reduced or prevented, including:
- Reducing the use of fossil fuels, particularly in power plants and other industrial facilities
- Increasing the use of cleaner energy sources, such as wind and solar power
- Implementing stricter emissions standards for vehicles and industrial facilities
- Increasing the use of pollution control technologies, such as scrubbers, that can remove sulfur dioxide from the air before it is released into the atmosphere.
What is Photochemical Smog?
Photochemical smog is the brown, hazy smog that we see billowing over big cities. This type of smog can cause a lot of environmental problems since it can be harmful to our health and the environment.
Photochemical smog is caused by two main pollutants: nitrogen oxide (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These irritants are generated by factories, cars, and even household products.
When sunlight interacts with these pollutants in the air, they react to form photochemical oxidants or “smog”. This type of smog can cause eye irritation and serious respiratory issues for people who live in cities where air pollution is high.
Q: What is photochemical smog?
A: Photochemical smog is a type of air pollution that is characterized by the presence of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the air. It is often formed when these pollutants react with each other in the presence of sunlight, producing a variety of harmful chemicals, including ozone, particulate matter, and aldehydes.
Q: What are the sources of photochemical smog?
A: Photochemical smog is often formed in urban areas, where there are high levels of traffic and industrial activity. The main sources of the pollutants that contribute to photochemical smog are vehicles, power plants, and industrial facilities.
Difference Between Sulfurous and Photochemical Smog
There is a difference between photochemical smog and its counterpart, sulphurous smog. Photochemical smog is the result of a chemical reaction that occurs when sunlight is combined with air pollutants. The sun causes ozone to form when nitrogen dioxide reacts with volatile organic compounds, including fossil fuels. This creates an unpleasant haze which can cause eye irritation and respiratory problems as well as damage to vegetation.
Sulfurous smog, on the other hand, is created by the burning of coal or petroleum products in low-oxygen conditions. This type of pollution was most prevalent at one time in industrial cities such as London and Los Angeles where it caused eye irritation; however sulphurous smog has not been seen in large quantities since the 1950s when air pollution controls were finally introduced after several deaths caused by this phenomenon.
Similarities Between Sulfurous and Photochemical Smog
There are also some similarities between these two types of smog. Both types of smog occur as a result of human activity. Both types are caused by the burning of fossil fuels such as those used in cars and industry. Both kinds do some damage to the environment, and both have been known to cause health concerns for humans, though the nature of those health concerns differs for each type. Finally, both kinds contain ozone, which is produced when volatile organic compounds react with nitrous oxides.
Sulphurous smog and photochemical smog are both created by human activity
Sulfurous smog and photochemical smog are both created by human activity. In the case of sulfurous smog, it is created through the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, which contain large quantities of sulphur. Photochemical smog is caused by vehicles emitting nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds in the presence of sunlight, which causes chemical reactions that create ozone and other pollutants.
You will find different types of air pollution in different places around the world;
- Photochemical smog is more common in countries where many people drive cars because they emit a lot of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds.
- Sulphurous smog is more common in countries where many factories burn fuels containing sulfur (for example, coal).
Sulfurous smog was first noticed in Manchester, England, in 1813, and it spread to other cities of the industrialized British Isles. In Europe, the worst smog occurred in London on December 5, 1952, when the fog combined with coal smoke for five days and killed about 4,000 people. The Great Smog of London led to the Clean Air Act of 1956, which required that tall chimneys be built to disperse air pollution from factories and power plants.
Photochemical smog was first detected in Los Angeles during the 1940s after World War II brought rapid industrial growth to southern California. Since then, it has been detected in most major cities with heavy traffic congestion. Photochemical smog has also been detected more recently in relatively undeveloped areas such as Mexico City; Athens.
Two types of air pollution
Air pollution is classified into two types: primary and secondary;
- Primary air pollution is caused by a substance or matter that, when released into the atmosphere, causes damage to the environment and/or human health.
- Secondary air pollution is caused by chemical reactions between primary pollutants that take place in the atmosphere.
The main cause of primary air pollution is emissions from burning fossil fuels (coal, petroleum, and other petroleum products used to power various modes of transportation, generate electricity, or provide heat for homes and businesses) that contain sulfur. When these fuels are burned, sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas escapes into the atmosphere.
Sulfur dioxide can be carried hundreds of kilometers in the atmosphere before it reacts with other molecules. There, it reacts with oxygen and water to form sulfuric acid (H2SO4), which is a major component of acid rain. When sulfuric acid combines with water droplets suspended in fog or cloud formations, sulfurous smog results.