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"federal medical authority" Discussed on HISTORY This Week
"To the lots we nowadays no that fine dust is actually among the top ten killers in the world. Its iron new history that we only became aware of how dangerous this is at a time where it was mostly gone into western world but retrospectively. We must say this was a matter of life and death so no one is doing all that much about air pollution or smog. Because it's not seen as a deadly problem but there is a very particular set of circumstances in which smog can be lethal. Smoke becomes a killer particularly when weather conditions impede dispersal off flute and that's usually the results off an inversion layer. An inversion layer. Normally air is warmer close to the earth and it gets colder as you go up. You may have experienced that. If you've ever climbed a mountain you may also know the concept that heat rises so typically warm air is rising up from the earth. Getting colder as it goes up and dispersing and flowing and moving around but sometimes this whole situation gets reversed. Warm air slips on top of cold air. The cold air does is so it's trapped. The warm air acts like a lid basically traps pollutants in the place at the place where they are produced and causes them to accumulate in the atmosphere when this happens pollutants buildup and smog can become deadly in the us. The first major smog event happens in july of nineteen forty three los and our lady the queen of the angels as the spaniard named the fastest growing city in the nation up until the forties had been known for its clean air. If you had to urculo says you went to la to breathe those california breezes and clear out your lungs. but now i've been forty. Three is when the i l. a. Smoke episode comes you at watering. Is your breathing problems. Visibility is terrible. The air smells like bleach and it all comes on suddenly on july twenty sixth. Nobody knows what it is. What is the pollutant. Doesn't come from its world war two so people actually. It might be a japanese gas attack. And this smog is different from london. Smog it's not really about smoke. It's photochemical smog. Where pollutants from card sauced and factory production cause chemical reaction in the atmosphere. That creates this particular. La smog plus la is two inversions because of its top poker graffiti. It's bordered by mountains. But people won't figure all this out for almost a decade the science just isn't there yet thankfully in nineteen forty-three no one in la dies from the smog but five years later in nineteen forty eight. The northern pennsylvania was the biggest air disaster in the united states until new york city in sixty six. This is an industrial community around a river valley don on the industrial town of pennsylvania and brings with it mysterious residents have difficulty in breathing. The murkier rain brings relief but epidemic of pneumonia is in the wake of denaro deadly golf. The valley where dinara sets is ripe for inversions and there are steel mills and sink plants in the area spewing off pollutants on halloween in nineteen forty eight pollutants get so concentrated that the local fire brigade has to go door to door giving people oxygen twenty people died. It's the deadliest toll per capita of any small episode before or since and this gets national attention. These events to at least function gets gets noticed. What happens if the door is that. The federal medical authority is asked to investigate. What happened here. The investigators link the pollution and deaths to noxious fumes coming from the local factories. There are a few lawsuits. But that's what it. There is no legislation to warning system. This is the factory and the factory is calling the shots. Of course the factory makes sure that next time there is an inversion more careful factors. Don't want to kill the neighbors but there are no real consequences for the factories. There's also very little in the way of national or a global effort to prevent disasters like this from happening again and one does happen again in london which remember had invented the term smog in nineteen. Oh four but since that era they kinda gotten off scot free the best guesses maybe they were just lucky for a few decades but then this returns in late nineteen fifty two this will be the deadliest smog ever it also comes from an inversion that traps pollutants released by factories by city residents epidemiologist. Deborah davis wrote that in london quote. Smoke like top water from a million chimneys in the london smog of nine hundred fifty. Two four thousand people died within a few days. The death toll and the filth rose together the killer smog lasts for months. Thousands of people die though it takes a while to entangle. Just how many people die from smog. It's not like the diet immediately. There was no kind of imminent calls the identify but it's a burden on the respiratory system. That may get a heart attack. They be get breathing problems his about the best estimates that we have suggests that twelve thousand people died prematurely during that. Smoke is a nineteen fifty two and this case there is some regulation four years after this killer smog. Britain passes a big law about clean air. Though doctor you says activism had been happening even before the big smog. So the reality is that this flashy moment of action after a disaster was just one piece of larger puzzle which brings us to new york and the united states last killer smog because of a slow drip of activism and reform and scientific progress. New york isn't totally unprepared for something like this by nineteen sixty. Six meteorologists can sort of predict inversions and there are some regional pollution monitoring systems in fact right before the smog. Event happens the. Us senate committee on public works puts out. This video contains a variety of chemical compounds released from a great number of diverse sources of air pollution. Many of these compounds are oxen. Corrosive and irritating under the influence of sunlight warm temperature and water vapor polluting substances. React with each other in the air to produce new compound more destructive and entertaining their original component.