A major element of the city smog may indeed be beneficial to man since it acts as an effective chemical in preserving fruits and vegetable items from fungal infections.
Researchers from the University of Newcastle found that exposing fruits and vegetables to low levels of toxic oxygen, also known as ozone, for eight days managed to prevent 95 percent of fungal infections. Recent figures reveal that more than a third of fresh fruits and vegetables are lost due to such infections.
AdvertisementWhile synthetic fungicides are often used to prevent such infections, they are known to be harmful to the body. Lead researcher Dr Ian Singleton said that the usage of fungicides and pesticides have led to increased health risks and added that ozone could be a more effective substitute for such chemicals since they do not leave any detectable residues.
"There are public concerns over pesticide residues on fresh produce. Ozone is a viable alternative to pesticides as it is safe to use and effective against a wide spectrum of micro-organisms", Dr Singleton said.