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Atmospheric Pollution

Nature volume 134, page 224 (11 August 1934) | Download Citation



THERE is an impression that American cities are smoke free. This is only true to a limited extent, and in some respects Americans are very tolerant. The smoke of an American railway engine must be seen to be believed, and Dr. Meller's broadcast talk on December 28, 1933 (“The Smoke Abatement Outlook”. By H. B. Meller. The Mellon Institute, Pittsburgh), tells a tale of the evil and damage done by smoke, which reads very familiar. He makes the point that following water, sanitation and food comes naturally the need to improve the quality of our air supply. “Re member,” he says, “the demand we are now hearing for a new deal in air is coming from those who are living in houses of the type to which we long have been accustomed. How much stronger will be the cry for effective abatement of smoke when we begin to promote construction of the new style dwelling-house which science has developed. Samples of such houses were enthusiastically viewed for the first time by the masses at the Century of Progress Exposition. Small houses they are, with flat roof surfaces devoted to play spaces and sun parlours; all of them equipped for air conditioning; every one constructed so that each room can be flooded with sunlight. In short, dwellings designed to make much fuller use of free and inexhaustible health-giving natural resources—pure air and unfiltered sunlight. Smoke challenges the use and enjoyment of houses of the new type. Ex cessive air pollution largely defeats the purposes of a roof playground and sun parlor. The sooner we realise these facts, the quicker we will take steps to bring smoke under adequate control.”

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