The Killer Fog Of London 1952

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The Great Smog of '52 or Big Smoke[1] was a severe air pollution event that affected London, England, during December 1952. A period of cold weather, combined with an anticyclone and windless conditions, collected airborne pollutants mostly from the use of coal to form a thick layer of smog over the city. It endured from Friday 5 to Tuesday, 9 December 1952, and then dispersed quickly after a change of weather.

Although it caused major disruption due to the effect on visibility, and even penetrated indoor areas, it was not thought to be a significant event at the time, with London having experienced many smog events during the past, so called "pea soupers". During the succeeding weeks however, medical reports estimated that 4,000 had died prematurely and 100,000 more were made ill because of the smog's effects on the human respiratory tract. More recent research suggests that the number of fatalities was considerably greater at about 12,000.[2]

It is considered the worst air pollution event of the history of the United Kingdom,[3] and the most significant in terms of its effect on environmental research, government regulation, and public awareness of the relationship between air quality and health.[2] It caused several changes of practice and regulations, including the Clean Air Act 1956.

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