Smog Index


"Another Sun in Zhengzhou, China." Contributed by Geoff Seaman. Image: Geoff Seaman




Smog Index (2018+)


SMOG INDEX (SI) is a new photographic record of urban smog events, representing diverse points of view, locations, air pollutants, and experiences worldwide.

Air pollution includes very fine particles of 2.5 micrometers or smaller (PM2.5), which when combined with ozone and sunlight create photochemical smog. Breathing smog can cause burning eyes, painful and difficult breathing, and lead to cancer, heart disease, and early death. While smog can be seen from a distance, it can be hard to distinguish from fog, and difficult to observe from within. But it can sometimes be photographed, and together, collected images can help form an index– a larger record and indicator–from individual experiences and documentation.Outdoor air pollution has risen 8% globally in the last five years, significantly impacting people living in growing cities in the Middle East and Southeast Asia (1). Research related one–third of deaths in 74 cities in China in 2013 to PM2.5 (2).

Have you experienced severe smog? Contribute your phone or camera images to SMOG INDEX at

(1) World Health Organization, 2016.
(2) South China Morning Post, December 2016.