Pollution Alert! Stay At Home or Wear A Mask

December 2, 1885 ·

A thick layer of fog that has covered most of South East of England for the past three weeks has now spread to the rest of the country.

This morning, Edinburgh recorded its highest level of air pollutants, with pneumonia cases in Wales trebling. So far, 160 people have died and at least 500 have been admitted to hospital in the last 24 hours.

The Ministry of Health expects the number to rise as the thick fog continues to affect public health, and has issued the following warning:

  • Only use coke or other smokeless fuel
  • Do not bank up coal fires at night
  • Don’t burn rubbish or light bonfires
  • Keep windows closed and draughts out

Sufferers of chest and heart complaints are being advised to “stay indoors and rest as much as

possible”, while across the country airships have been grounded in an attempt to prevent accidents.

Rebreather Masks Recommended

The level of smoke pumped into the London atmosphere over the weekend, was four times higher than an average autumn day – with the level of sulphur dioxide ten times higher, according to figures produced by the Department for the Advancement of Sciences.

Plumes of smoke can be seen belching out of industrial chimneys daily. British Industry’s dependence on coal produces up to 80% of the pollution, while domestic fires produce around 8 tons of smoke per cubic mile.

Huge swathes of British life have been brought to a standstill by the thick pea-souper fog, which has disrupted trains, buses and major roads.

The government advises people to wear a gas mask or a certified rebreather.

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