PUBLIC RECOGNITION of the harmful nature of air pollution arose in the United States in October 1948 when, over a five-day period in Donora, Pennsylvania, an air pollutant emission lead to 19 deaths. Additionally, 10 percent of the population of Donora was severely affected by the exposure that was compounded by the effects of weather keeping the pollutants at ground level.

International attention to the issue of air pollution developed in 1952 when, in London, England, particulate matter and sulfur dioxide built up over a three-day period and caused 3,000 to 4,000 deaths. For decades the lead and chemical industry subjected workers and the public to a variety of hazardous air pollutants by withholding industry data reflecting its harmfulness and even developing trade associations designed to ...

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