Posted on Jan 12, 2021 176
Smog is a toxic (poisonous) fog. For a long time, London was considered a classic example of a smog-ridden city. Tragedy has not yet been forgotten in England since December 1952, when the smog caused the premature death of about 4,000 people suffering from cardiovascular disease. This unfortunate event forced the passage of the 1956 Air Protection Act, which called for the construction of giant chimneys in large thermal plants to a height of 415 meters. This measure helped to markedly reduce the concentration of harmful substances in the atmosphere. Although the total amount of pollution was not much reduced, the destructive smog no longer hung over London.
The term “smog” results from combining two English words: “smoke” and “fog,” meaning smoke and fog, respectively. In a city where fog is partly a guest, the development of industry has created this dreaded monster: fog smoke. On windless days, a yellow, poisonous cloud hung over neighborhoods. Sunlight promoted chemical reactions between the smoke particles, resulting in compounds that were very harmful to human health. They caused coughing, lacrimation, and even respiratory failure. A fog filled with coal dust and soot hung over the city for weeks, and thousands of citizens literally suffocated in it. Thousands of pure London fireplaces, which had been smoking the skies for centuries, also contributed to the smog.
Today, the number of fireplaces has been reduced to a minimum. Those that remain often use smokeless coal.
Since passaging the Air Protection Act within Greater London, London’s infamous smog has become as rare as blue skies used to be.