Pat Shingleton Column

"Smoke and Fog Equals Smog..."

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Posted: Oct 31, 2012 6:35 PM by Pat Shingleton

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Topics: Donora, Pennsylvania, 1948, Smog killed 20.

Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Virginia and New York will experience the after effects of Sandy into the weekend. On October 30, 1948, Donora, Pennsylvania experienced a different deadly event. Pittsburgh was known as the Steel City and communities surrounding it contributed to the production of steel. On that October day, plant emissions and a stagnant air mass allowed pollution levels to rapidly increase. News coverage noted responses from residents that included the inability to see a football field or not seeing a street curb or the end of your hand. Life magazine ran an article entitled, "Murder From the Mills" with experts noting that if the smog lasted another evening the number of deaths could have topped 1,000. The smog killed 20 and recently the Donora Smog Museum opened.

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