The environment in which you live can have major implications for your health. Shanghai is one of the most notorious cities in the world in terms of pollution, but what are the effects of living in a smog-enveloped city, and do high levels of pollution contribute to a higher risk of accidents at work and health problems?
Smog, work-related illness and health issues
Smog is a term used to describe a thick cloud of fog, which can be seen hanging over large industrial cities. Los Angeles and Shanghai are the most recognisable cities affected by smog, a combination of smoke and fog. Smog is denser than mist and it affects visibility; on particularly bad days, it is hard to see in front of you and the sun rarely makes an appearance.
Recently, pollution levels were so high in Shanghai that officials advised children and elderly people to stay indoors. On Monday 2nd December, levels of pollution were up to 10 times higher than the recommended figures from the World Health Organisation, which was particularly shocking, as thousands of athletes had travelled to the city to take part in the annual marathon the day before. Some took to the streets wearing protective masks, while others complained about breathing difficulties and chest pain after the race.
China is one of the world’s leading industrial centres, but the rapid growth of industry, and the ever-growing population, have contributed to unprecedented levels of pollution and the images published in global newspapers at the beginning of this month showed scenes that were reminiscent of a horror film, with the city shrouded in thick fog.
Can smog cause work-related illnesses?
Smog is not good for human health and medical experts are concerned that the high levels of pollution are linked to respiratory diseases, headaches, coughing and wheezing. If you work outside and you are exposed to smog, this is likely to affect your respiratory health; you may have an increased risk of asthma, breathing difficulties, bronchitis, and emphysema, and these conditions can affect your short-term and long-term health, as well as your future employment prospects.
If you’ve developed a work-related illness or suffered an injury at work, and you were not to blame, you could have a case for work injury compensation. Call Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500 to discuss your claim with an expert personal injury lawyer.
Date Published: January 22, 2014
Author: David Brown