The Info List - Clean Air Act 1956

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The CLEAN AIR ACT 1956 was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed in response to London
's Great Smog of 1952 . It was in effect until 1964, and sponsored by the Ministry of Housing and Local Government in England and the Department of Health for Scotland.

The Act introduced a number of measures to reduce air pollution , especially by introducing "smoke control areas" in some towns and cities in which only smokeless fuels could be burned. By shifting homes' sources of heat towards cleaner coals, electricity, and gas, it reduced the amount of smoke pollution and sulphur dioxide from household fires. Reinforcing these changes, the Act also included measures to relocate power stations away from cities, and for the height of some chimneys to be increased.

The Act was an important milestone in the development of a legal framework to protect the environment.

The Act was repealed in 1993 to consolidate its legislation with other related enactments, especially the Clean Air Act 1968.


* 1 Historical background * 2 See also * 3 References

* 4 External links

* 4.1 UK legislation


had long been noted for its pea soup fog , but when the "Great Smog " fell over the city in December 1952 the effects were unprecedented: 4,000 people are thought to have died in the immediate aftermath, triggering great public concern, with fog so thick it stopped trains, cars, and public events. A further 8,000 died in following weeks and months.

It quickly became clear that pollution had become a real and deadly problem, and the smog's terrible effects may have helped inspire the modern environmental movement . Despite this, however, and data from the Ministry of Health indicative of substantially elevated death rates in London, the Government initially resisted pressure to act, and was keen to downplay the scale of the problem due to economic pressures. It took the recommendations of the Select Committee on Air Pollution and moves by backbench MPs (including Conservative member Gerald Nabarro