The photo of smoking chimneys (Shuttle, October 28, 2021) reminded me of when coal was the main fuel and was also used to make gas for home consumption.
The North Sea gas we switched to in the late 1960s and early 1970s was non-toxic unlike coal gas and there was a significant reduction in air pollution for most of the population, leading to both a significant reduction in infant mortality rates and also an increase in life expectancy.
The report “Geographic Trends in Infant Mortality: England and Wales, 1970–2006” (Health Statistics Quarterly 40 Winter 2008) begins: “Nationally in England and Wales, infant mortality rates have fallen rapidly from the early 1970s to the 1980s. “
The first and last sentences of the first paragraph of the introduction are:
“The level of infant mortality can be considered a major indicator of the health of a nation, with an emphasis on infant mortality rates (deaths under one year old, per 1,000 live births) that remain unchanged. head of academic and public health and policy programs within the UK and globally.
“The reduction in infant mortality has been cited as the most important factor contributing to the increase in life expectancy over the past 100 years.”
In the past, canaries were taken to mines for early warning of air pollution, whereas today the infant death rate is an accurate indicator of exposure to toxic air pollution, while today the rate of infant deaths is an accurate indicator of exposure to toxic air pollution, while another is the percentage of children in primary schools bringing asthma inhalers to school (Airborne Pollutants and Acute Health Effects, The Lancet, April 8, 1995).