The Great Smog of '52 Facts

The Great Smog of '52 Facts
In 1952 the use of coal combined with cold weather and windless conditions formed a deadly smog cover over the city of London, England. This five days of smog, lasting from December 5th to December 9th, resulted in the deaths of 4,000 to 12,000 people (depending on different estimates) and as many as 100,000 became ill due to respiratory issues. The smog was so thick that it even reached indoors. Previous episodes of fog in London had been called 'pea soupers' but this incident was quickly named 'the Big Smoke' or 'the Great Smog'. Smog and poor air quality had been an ongoing issue since the 1200s. The Great Smog was the worst manmade air pollution event in the history of the U.K. It has also been extremely significant for air quality awareness and research.
Interesting The Great Smog of '52 Facts:
The Great Smog was a combination of stagnant cold air under a warm air layer, which trapped chimney smoke exhaust, and fog in London.
The soot particles from chimneys made the Great Smog's air appear yellow/black. This was the reason the previous fog incidents in London had often been called 'pea soupers'.
Driving during the Great Smog was almost impossible because the fog was so thick visibility was reduced to only a few meters.
During the Great Smog ambulances and public transportation stopped running, aside from the London Underground. Anyone needing to go the hospital had to get there on their own.
Despite how thick the Great Smog was, people in London did not panic about their health. It took weeks for the statistics to begin to show the devastation the smog had - at least 4,000 had died. Many of the victims had been the elderly or the very young.
Death rates remained high after the Great Smog. Originally many of the 12,000 total deaths were blamed on influenza but later it became clear the deaths were mainly due to the Great Smog.
The majority of deaths resulting from the Great Smog were due to hypoxia, respiratory tract infections, and lung infections.
The Clean Air Act of 1956 was passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom as a result of the Great Smog of 1952.
The Clean Air Act of 1956 remained in place until 1964. The act made changes to the types of fuels that could be burned for heating in specific areas, reducing air pollution. Power stations had to be relocated outside of cities and chimney heights had to be increased as well.
The Clean Air Act of 1956 led to the Clean Air Act of 1968 and held a great deal of importance towards public health, public regulation, and clean air government intervention measures.
New York City suffered a similar smog event in 1966 but city officials were more prepared with advisories and measures to protect public health. Roughly 168 people died and about 366 people had shortened life spans as a result.
Additional smog events have occurred in other parts of the world including the 2013 Eastern China Smog and the 2013 Northeastern China Smog.


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