Donora is a town located in pennsylvania, just south of pittsburgh, along the. This created a thermal inversion that trapped emissions from the steel and zinc plants over a period of four days. The donora historical society and smog museum was featured on the travel channel on november 1, 2011 retelling the story of bill schempp and the oxygen tanks that he used during the 1948 smog event in donora. A secret history of americas worst air pollution disaster. The air was polluted by local steel plants, railroad yards and zinc works. Kagawa, jun encyclopedia of life support systems eolss so2 was from 9. The donora smog event was devastating to the town, state and country. No, this isnt a steven king story, but the real thing. An inversion layer settles over the rust belt town of donora, pennsylvania, trapping industrial pollution in the atmosphere. The 1948 donora smog pennsylvania historical markers on.
In 1948, a littleremembered environmental disaster shocked the world. The 1948 donora smog was a historic smog event that killed 20 people and caused respiratory problems for 7,000 people of the 14,000 population of donora, pennsylvania. The donora smog disaster a problem in atmospheric pollution. Air pollution in donora, pa epidemiology of the unusual smog. That the tax be and the same is hereby levied on all property. An american life which mentioned that a killer smog had took 18 or more lives. The 1948 donora smog was a historic smog event that killed 20 people and caused respiratory problems for 6,000 people of the 14,000 population of donora, pennsylvania, a mill town on the monongahela river 24 miles 39 km southeast of pittsburgh. A pittsburgh media groups documentation of an infamous day in donora s history was enough to win a regional emmy. Over a fiveday period, the smog killed about 20 people and made thousands more seriously ill. The historically hazy story of donoras deadly smog. On sunday morning the bosses at american steel and wire finally closed the plant. Killer smog continues to hover over donora, pennsylvania, on october 29, 1948. Pdf ocr text metadata dublin core national library of medicine 8600 rockville pike. Fog was common in town when cold mountain air hit the warmer river water.
Epidemiology of the unusual smog episode of october 1948. Aside from the 1948 smog incident, the steel mill would serve donora well for the next 60 or so years until it started to close in the late 1950s and finishing in the late 1960s. Steel corporations donora zinc works and american steel and wire. This dissertation explores how investigations of donora s smog reflected and contributed to the power of. The air pollution sickened about 40 percent of the towns 14,000 inhabitants.
Donora is a rust belt place which has lost most of its industrial capacity. The boroughs nickname is the home of champions, mainly because of the large number of famous athletes who. As the day wore on, the fog became progressively thicker and witnesses even claimed that it was so thick and potent they could taste it. Donora, pennsylvania project gutenberg selfpublishing.
Thickening smog in donora, pa courtesy of the donora historical society. A darkness in donora when smog killed 20 people in a pennsylvania mill town in 1948, the clean air movement got its start. Killer smog the story of 26 sudden deaths in 1948 is a bleak reminder of why america needs clean air laws. Although the mills have long since gone, today donora has a thriving industrial park in the footprint of the original mill. Air pollution in donora, pa epidemiology of the unusual smog episode of october 1948. It jumpstarted the fields of environmental and public health, drew attention to the need for industrial regulation, and. In her 1994 doctoral dissertation the deathdealing smog over donora, pennsylvania. The anniversary of the worst recorded industrial air pollution accident in us history which occurred 50 years ago this october in donora, pennsylvania will go virtually unmarked. The event is commemorated by the donora smog museum. An ordinance of the borough of donora, commonwealth of pennsylvania, fixing the tax rate for the fiscal year 1948. By then, 20 people had died of what was thought to be asthma and onethird to one half of the towns 14,000 residents were suffering from respiratory problems. Steel plant, but they never accepted responsibility.
On tuesday, october 26th, the people of donora, pennsylvania woke to a blanket of smoke and fog filling their streets. The orthodox congregation was among the first in the. Sep 16, 2019 signage inside the donora smog museum. Thompson and ciocco also conducted a study of cancer deaths in donora from 1948 to 1957, as well as those in arsenal, pennsylvania, a district near pittsburgh. Lois bainbridge of webster, pa, to the governor, october 31, 1948. Fumes from us steels smelting plants blanketed the town for four days, and crept murderously into the citizens homes. Case study of air pollution episodes in meuse valley of. If you see your name among the donora high school graduates, someone is looking for you. You can also follow us on facebook under donora historical society and smog museum. It got its name from a combination of william donner and nora mellon, banker andrew w. Future job growth over the next ten years is predicted to be 24. Nov 18, 2017 in 1948, a littleremembered environmental disaster shocked the world. In 1948, an air pollution inversion event in donora, pennsylvania, killed 20 people within 12 hours and 70 within a month.
On saturday, september th, 2014, as part of the heinz history center affiliate ambassadors series, smog museum archivist and curator brian charlton presented donora and the 1948 air quality crisis at the heinz history center in pittsburgh. Producer and ringgold high school graduate, david solomon, reporter andy masich and photographer and editor paul ruggieri, created a 12minute report on the donora smog of 1948 for wqeds onq nightly news show. The donora fluoride fog reading assignment and worksheet. Donora, pennsylvania, even though this fog was particularly dense. Overall, donora pennsylvania was greatly impacted by the deadly smog event in 1948. Donora historical society and smog museum facebook. Dec 15, 2019 donora police department, donora, pennsylvania. The smog lasted about five days and killed approximately 20 people. The one hour show is called mysteries at the museum check the travel channel website for the show titled eastland disaster and smuttynose murders to see when the story may be shown. Sep 21, 20 pennsylvania smoke disaster from 1948 theecodom. Donora, pennsylvania with its zinc manufacturing plant in the background.
Learn more about the pittsburghbased trio and play their music today. At the end of october 1948, the communities of donora and webster in pennsylvania were visited by a smog that changed the face of environmental protection in the united states. Oct 28, 2019 killer smog continues to hover over donora, pennsylvania, on october 29, 1948. Killer smog in donora pennsylvania october 1948 youtube. I case study of air pollution episodes in meuse valley of belgium, donora of pennsylvania, and london, u.
In the days leading up to halloween in 1948, a pocket of cold air settled into the city of donora, pennsylvania. A temperature inversion sets the stage for the donora. In 1948, a poisoned mixture of carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and metal dust killed 20 people and sickened 7000 more in donora, pennsylvania. Til of the 1948 donora death fog, where a thick toxic smog sickened 7000 people and killed 20 in donora, pa.
This school is located at 401 waddell avenue, donora, pennsylvania in donora borough, washington county. Oct 26, 2018 the 1948 donora smog was the worst air pollution disaster in u. The donora smog disaster october 3031, 1948 images. In late october, 1948, donora was hit with an environmental disaster that would. Unbeknownst to the majority of the residents, the factories that sustained their livelihood would also be the cause for illness in a large majority of the towns population and even death for some. Download the pdf to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.
Killler smog that engulfed donora, pennsylvania in october of 1948. World heritage encyclopedia, the aggregation of the largest online encyclopedias available, and the most definitive. Donora pennsylvania pa map searchable index of streets. The donora fluoride fog in the days leading up to halloween in 1948, a pocket of cold air settled into the city of donora, pennsylvania. Public debate and corporate diplomacy in donoras fight for clean.
View more property details, sales history and zestimate data on zillow. Patients in oxygentented beds, donora, pennsylvania, november 3, 1948. This site has the entire 5,672 page text of the 2008 clean air act in pdf format. News and tv donora historical society and smog museum. The 1948 donora smog was a historic smog event that killed 20 people and caused respiratory problems for 7,000 people of the 14,000 population of donora, pennsylvania, a mill town on the monongahela river 24 miles 39 km southeast of pittsburgh. In the early morning hours of october 26, 1948, a fog settled over the town of donora, pennsylvania, the home of u. A small group of jews chartered donora hebrew congregation ohav sholom on august 24, 1903 and established a cemetery in carroll township the following year. The incident would become known as the donora smog event. Today in 1948, a stifling yellow smog descended on the industrial mill town of donora, pa. Write one paragraph as your response to the donora incident. Over a three day period in october of 1948 hundreds of people became sick and 21 died from a mysterious smog that had enveloped the town of donora, pennsylvania.
Conservative estimates showed that 20 individuals died, while an additional 590043% of the population of donora were affected by the smog. Oct 27, 2011 in the early morning hours of october 26, 1948, a fog settled over the town of donora, pennsylvania, the home of u. Unesco eolss sample chapters environmental toxicology and human health vol. The event is commemorated by the donora smog museum sixty years later, the incident was described by the new york times as one of the worst air. Donora is a borough in washington county, pennsylvania, united states, approximately 20 miles 32 km south of pittsburgh on the monongahela river donora was incorporated in 1901. Stan musials father lukasz already had health problems before the killer smog and died less than two months after the smog hit donora, pennsylvania, late in october of 1948. When it clears six days later, 20 people are dead, another 50 are. Yet 1948 was an unusual situation because before also anticyclone were created but there were no toll of life. The historically hazy story of donora s deadly smog a 1948 environmental disaster in the pennsylvania town resulted in half truths, conspiracy theories, and the introduction of clean air laws.
Air pollution episodes and disasters ketan wadodkar m. The 1948 donora smog was the worst air pollution disaster in u. In october 1948, the smog, caused by fluoride emissions from the donora zinc works and steel plants owned by the us steel corporation, reportedly killed 20 people while leaving many many more deathly ill. Annals of medicine about the smog that blanketed the city of donora, pa. Donora police department donora, pennsylvania police. The names listed below are alumni who have been searched for on this site from donora high schoolin donora, pennsylvania. An air pollution disaster over the two southwestern pennsylvania towns of donora and webster in october 1948 took dozens of lives, left thousands literally gasping for breath, and motivated the united states public health service phs to enter the arena of air pollution policy. Donora smog disaster phmc our documentary heritage. Donora is a small steel mill town on a curve of the monongahela river.
By the time fresh winds finally swept through the valley and blew away the smog on monday, 7,000 people had become ill nearly half the towns population. The towns population has dropped to a third of what its size was 65 years ago, thanks to the closing of the zinc and steel plants that used to provide employment for many of the towns citizens. Apr 14, 2011 yet 1948 was an unusual situation because before also anticyclone were created but there were no toll of life. At the end of october 1948, the communities of donora and webster in pennsylvania were visited by a smog that changed the face of environmental protection. The 1930 school building is separated from waddell avenue by a. On october 29, smog from a temperature inversion and factory smoke caused one of.967 736 418 277 543 155 771 979 177 1494 1569 252 43 1130 1336 914 74 316 1061 1459 522 509 686 715 629 766 433 795 292 838 186 34 139 525 818 263 1435 858 258 609 1339 424 137 668 1312