News of the WeekAIR POLLUTION

Counting the Cost of London's Killer Smog

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Science  13 Dec 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5601, pp. 2106-2107
DOI: 10.1126/science.298.5601.2106b

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LONDON-- Fresh analyses of London's "Big Smoke," a foul fog that descended on the city in December 1952, suggest that 8000 Londoners who died in the following 2 months succumbed to delayed effects of the smog or lingering pollution rather than flu or other causes. The debate, at a conference here earlier this week to mark the fog's 50th anniversary, reveals how much is unknown even today about the effects of smog, which continues to menace big cities, particularly in developing countries with weak air-pollution laws.