Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Donora Death Fog :: Air Pollution Environmental Issues Essays

The Donora Death Fog â€Å"D-Town!† Back home in Canonsburg, a small suburb outside of Pittsburgh, this is how we refer to Donora. We joke that the only thing in Donora is the roller skating rink, but even this is inaccessible to anyone who’s not a D-town native because when you are at the age to want to go roller skating you aren’t brave enough to enter into the Donora city limits. Only dedicated roller-skaters are brave enough to dare the elements of Donora. Of course, one, particularly a girl, would never think of going to Donora alone. But for me, I was never really that scared of Donora because my grandparents live nearby and we used to have dinner at the Ponderosa that has since closed. But, I never missed the opportunity to poke fun at that â€Å"rough† territory. Recently, I drove through D-town. The shops are boarded up. There’s graffiti everywhere. In addition to the roller rink there are a few bars and decrepit restaurants. I always assumed that it was the gi gantic Wal-mart that had caused this once thriving town to fall to shambles. But, this town, as I recently learned, was the site of the â€Å"worst recorded industrial air pollution accident in US history† (The Donora Fluoride Fog). This disaster intrigued me, so I decided to do some research regarding what happened. My investigation first led me to find that twenty people died from October 26-31, 1948 (Pennsylvania DEP). According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation website, the town population was about 14,000 at the time of the disaster. Devastatingly, about half-7,000-of those people became ill or hospitalized. My investigation led me to discover that this disaster was â€Å"created by unchecked industrial emissions and stagnant air conditions† (Donora’s Killer Smog Noted at 50). These conditions led to a smog fog hanging around the area. The American Steel & Wire Co., a subsidiary of the US Steel Group, was the local plant responsible for producing these emissions and conditions. It is also widely accepted that the weather conditions were prominent in producing the disaster. In October of 1998, spokespeople for the industry agreed that the disaster was unfortunate and tragic, but did not fail to note that, at the time of the disaster, clean air acts did not exist. If any good could come from this disaster it was the funding for research about clean air and the eventual passing of clean air acts and legislation.

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