smog causes serious health problems. Both ozone and PAN act as powerful eye
irritants. Ozone and nitric oxide irritate the nose and throat and their high
concentration causes headache, chest pain, dryness of throat, cough and
difficulty in breathing.
Compared to human beings, vegetation is more prone to harmful
effects of oxidants. Ozone causes a reduction in plant growth. High
concentration of ozone damages forests. Organic oxidants act as poisons to
Ozone may cause harm to fibres, dyes, paints and polymers.
Natural rubber and synthetic polymers become brittle and crack. Smog also
causes corrosion of metals, stones and building materials.
Control of Photochemical Smog
Many techniques are used to control or reduce the formation
of photochemical smog.
(i) The most straight forward way is to minimize the release
of oxides of nitrogen and hydrocarbons to the atmosphere. Usually catalytic
converters are used in automobiles which convert harmful gases into
harmless gases and thus prevent the release of nitrogen oxide and hydrocarbons
to the atmosphere.
(ii) Chemical method:
Smog can be suppressed by certain compounds which act as free radical traps. When
these compounds are sprayed to the atmosphere, they generate free radicals
which readily combine with free radical precursors of photo chemical smog.
(iii) Certain plants, e.g.,
pinus, juniparus, quereus, pyrus and vitis can metabolise nitrogen oxide and therefore,
their plantation could help in reducing nitrogen oxide from atmosphere.
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