Video | Text

How bad is summer smog?

Summer smog is a type of air pollution which occurs during hot weather in built-up urban areas and the surrounding countryside. It is formed when nitrogen dioxide, largely the result of industrial and road traffic pollution, reacts with hydrocarbons in sunlight to form ozone, which can then be mixed with particles.

This type of smog is most likely to cause pollution episodes which are a particular problem for those with existing health issues. For example, it can exacerbate breathing difficulties in people with asthma. During very bad summer smog episodes, even a normally fit and healthly person can experience irritation of the nose and throat, coughing and breathlessness.

Follow Us
Our newsletter

AirMail newsletter

The latest news and research from King's: View the archive