The Great smog of 1952 was a rigorous air pollution which affected the city of London in England during December 1952. According to Kottke Jason, The smog was caused by cold weather that combined with windless conditions and an anticyclone which collected airborne pollutants from coal use that led to the formation of the smog with a thick layer. It endured from 5th Friday to 9th Tuesday in the year of 1952 and later dispersed immediately after the change of weather. This paper explores the cause of the smog, its effects, and the actions taken by the government as well as how to avoid such disasters in future (Kottke J. 1-5)
Causes of the Great smog
According to the medical reports, it was estimated that more than four thousand people died prematurely and one hundred thousand became ill because of effects of smog on the respiratory tract of human. Recent researches have indicated that the fatalities number was greater than twelve thousand. In the history of the U.K, it was the worst ever air pollution to have occurred and also the most significant in its effects on government regulation, public awareness and environmental research of relationship between health and air quality. This Great Smog caused various changes of regulations and practice, including Clean Air Act of 1956. In 1952, the weather condition in the Greater London was extra ordinarily cold for some time and that was speculated to be the main cause of the Great Smog. As a result of cold weather, residents in their households were burning a lot of coal than they used to before. It was approximated that the smoke came from more than 1000,000 coal stoves plus the emissions which was released from industries (Nagourney E. 5)
According to the World-weather-travellers-guide.com, the Great London Smog led to the response of media which pressured the Government to take action against the occurrence of smog. The government was forced to set up a committee in examining effects of air pollution. In the year 1956, the committee formed a new Clean Air Act. This Clean Air Act granted the local authorities power to allocate smoke control areas which authorized smokeless fuels like oil, gas, anthracite and electricity to be used. Forty percent of grants were all made available to the householders in order to allow them replace coal fires with electrical heating and gas. Implementation of this Act was uneven, wealthier authorities and larger, for example in Yorkshire and London adopted progressive programmes while other cities responded slowly. It was ironical in the coal-mining areas because of resistance from miners who had received concessionary coal allowances. It was feared by miners that the control of pollution could cause the redundancies and damage the industry (3)
Cause of Death
The Great Smog deaths were attributed to bronchitis, pneumonia, heart failure and tuberculosis. Those who were suffering from preexisting conditions like asthma died from respiratory distress. Others died of asphyxiation and cardiac distress.
People should responsible and take care of the environment globally. They should desist from activities that might turn out to be unfriendly to the weather. Pollutions of all kinds should be avoided completely. If people were responsible enough to take care of the environment before the 1952 Great Smog in London, the disaster could have been avoided and nobody could die. Nations should also take advance measures of protecting both the atmosphere and the environment. They should ensure that industries are regularized to avoid all types of pollutions. What happened in 1952 in London should serve as a case study should all an example in that matter so as to avoid the future likewise tragedies.
List of References
Kottke Jason. “The Great Smog of London.” 2011. Kottke.org. Web. 20th April 20, 2011
Nagourney Eric. “Why the Great Smog of London Was Anything but Great”. 2011. The New York Times. Web. 20th April 20, 2011
World-weather-travellers-guide.com. “The Lethal London Smog Event5th-9th December 1952”. 2011. Web. 20th April 20, 2011