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Episode 202

1966 New York City smog
Thu, 2017-Nov-23 01:15 UTC
Length - 3:05

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Thursday, 23 November 2017 is 1966 New York City smog.

The 1966 New York City smog was a historic air-pollution event in New York City. Smog covered the city from November 23–26, that year's Thanksgiving holiday weekend. It was the third major smog in New York City, following events of similar scale in 1953 and 1963.

On November 23, a large mass of stagnant air over the East Coast trapped pollutants in the city's air. For three days, New York City had high levels of carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, smoke, and haze. Smaller pockets of air pollution pervaded the New York metropolitan area. On November 25, regional leaders announced a "first-stage alert". During the alert, leaders of local and state governments asked residents and industry to take voluntary steps to minimize emissions. Health officials advised people with respiratory or heart conditions to stay indoors. The city shut off garbage incinerators, requiring massive hauling of garbage to landfills. A cold front dispersed the smog on November 26 and the alert ended.

In the months that followed, scientists and doctors studied the smog's impact. It became clear that the smog had been a major environmental disaster with severe public health effects. One study estimated that 10 percent of the city's population suffered adverse health effects, such as stinging eyes, coughing, and respiratory distress. City health officials initially maintained that the smog had not caused any deaths. Later, a statistical analysis found that 168 people had likely died because of the smog. Another study found that the smog had shortened the lifespans of 366 people.

The smog catalyzed greater national awareness of air pollution as a serious health problem and political issue. New York City updated its local laws on air pollution control. Prompted by the smog, President Lyndon B. Johnson and members of Congress worked to pass federal legislation regulating air pollution in the United States, culminating in the 1967 Air Quality Act and the 1970 Clean Air Act. The 1966 smog is a milestone that has been compared with other pollution events, including the health effects of pollution from the September 11 attacks and pollution in China.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 01:15 UTC on Thursday, 23 November 2017.

For the full current version of the article, go to

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These podcasts are produced by Abulsme Productions based on Wikipedia content.

They are released under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Creative Commons License

Abulsme Productions also produces Curmudgeon's Corner, a current events podcast.

If you like that sort of thing, check it out too!

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