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1827: French scientist J.B. Fourier outlines atmospheric process by which earth’s temperature is altered, using a hothouse analogy.

1880s: First U.S. municipal smoke abatement laws aimed at reducing black smoke and ash from factories, railroads, and ships. Regulation under local boards of health.

1909: Glasgow, Scotland, winter inversions and smoke accumulations kill over 1,000 people. Preparing a report about the incidents, Dr. Harold Antoine Des Voeux coins term “smog” as a contraction for smoke-fog.

1921: General Motors' researchers discover tetraethyl lead as an anti-knock gasoline additive. Despite warnings about its danger, the new gasoline goes on sale without safety tests within 14 months.

1926: First large-scale survey of air pollution in U.S., in Salt Lake City.

1928: PHS begins checking air pollution in eastern U.S. cities, reporting sunlight cut by 20 to 50 percent in New York City.

Air pollutions events in history
  1. 1820s-1920s
  2. 1940s-1950s
  3. 1960s
  4. 1970s-1980s
  5. 1990s
  6. 2000s