December 5, 1952
A smog cloud rests on the city, killing 4,000 and injuring 200,000 by the time it lifts on December 9
The smog cloud was a result of a combination of windless weather, winter temperatures, and airborne pollutants primarily comprised of coal. The smog did not create a panic as London was accustomed to fog. However, approximately 4,000 to 6,000 people died from the toxic fog, predominantly the elderly, the very young, or those who had preexisting respiratory conditions. (A more resent research study concluded the smog may have claimed upwards to 12,000 lives.) The deadly air pollution paved the way for environmental legislations in 1954, 1956, and 1968, greatly reducing the airborne contaminants in the United Kingdom.