Smog is one of the major forms of air pollution. It makes being outside a healththreat. Some of the major contributers to smog are automobiles, factories, andother things of this nature. High temperatures stimulate the effects of smog,therefore, the highest levels of smog are on hot summer days. This means thatmost of the problems associated with smog occur in the summer months. Healtheffects vary from person to person. There is evidence that suggests that it cancause some short-term breathing problems. This includes coughing, shortness ofbreath, and pain with deep breathing. Individuals with asthma are much moresensitive to smog. There are a few factors that determine how unhealthy smog isto a person. The first factor is the amount of ozone in the air. Since heat isusually associated with ozone, it will make the effects of smog greater. Thesecond is the length of the exposure. The longer a person is exposed to smog,the greater the symptoms are. Finally, the third factor is how deeply a personis breathing when exposed to smog. The heavier an individual breathes, thebigger dose of smog is going into their lungs. Scientific studies have suggestedthat the lungs adapt to smog and other air pollution after prolonged exposure.
This defense mechanism disappears once a person is no longer exposed topollutants. Tests on rats, which were exposed to a polluted environment for aextended period of time, concluded that there was no sign of lung cancer. Thegovernment has stepped in to combat air pollution in general. They passed theClean Air Act in 1990. This act made provisions such as placing centralizedemissions testing facilities in high risk areas. The problem with the provisionsis that they cost a lot of money and the state governments do not want to paythe exorbitant price tags. Locally, a law was recently passed which will all carowners to get an emissions test on their cars by May of the year 2001. If theirautomobile does not pass the test, they will have to get it fixed until itpasses the emissions test. The price of the repair is not expensive but it ismandatory for the car to be able to drive on the road.