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London Smog Disaster

The London Smog Disaster lasted from December 1952 until March 1953. The unusual cold caused people to use more coal to warm their house. This, combined with the factories in London and the many cars and trains, caused tar, black soot, and sulphur dioxide to stick together and for smog. The smog caused decreased line of vision. By December 5, 1952 vision was decreased to only a few meters. In addition to the smog, acid rain also became a problem. Transportation such as railroads, streets, and airplanes were halted because of the limited visibility. The London Smog Disaster was also known as the Big Smoke.

The London Smog Disaster resulted in the killing of twelve thousand. Of course, it is not known if this is correct because they were not sure who was killed because of the effects of the smog and who was killed because of natural causes. The number of people that were killed months, or even years later, because of lasting effects of the smog is also not known. Most of these people died because of the acid aerosols in the smog. The majority of the people that died were children, the elderly, and people that had conditions existing before the smog became very bad. The infant mortality rate doubled during the week of December Fifth. The number of heart disease and tuberculosis cases also increased during this time period. There are also theories that the people exposed to the smog have a higher risk for cancer, although this has not been able to be proven. There is also not a number on the amount of people that have lasting effects because of the smog, things that might not kill them but do make their life harder.

There was not much that people could do during the time to make the smog lighter or easier to live with. People should have avoided using too much coal, just as much as they needed to be semi-comfortable, and the factories should have done less work to produce less pollution so that the air could clear itself up faster. It would be letter the air heal itself in a way. Since the visibility was so bad, cars and other transportation like trains did not cause any more pollution and did help a little. The London Smog Disaster led to the introduction of the Clean Air Acts, which was probably the only good thing to come out of this disaster.

De Angelo, Luara. "London Smog Disaster, England." London Smog Disaster, England. Enclypedia of the Earth, 8 Feb. 2008. Web. 20 Sept. 2013. <http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/154281/>.

"Water Pollution FAQ Frequently Asked Questions." Water Pollution FAQ. Lenntech, n.d. Web. 20 Sept. 2013.




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