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London's Great Smog of 1952 linked to asthma surge

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London's Great Smog of 1952 might have affected the health of young children and unborn babies, resulting in thousands of additional cases of asthma, a new study contends.

"Our results suggest that the harm from this dreadful event over 60 years ago lives on today," said the study's leader, Matthew Neidell, in a Columbia University news release. He is an associate professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health in New York City.

The Great Smog of London lasted five days in December 1952. The smog developed when a weather phenomenon that pushes air downwards helped trap the pollution from residential coal fires (to heat homes) and industrial pollution low to the ground, according to the United Kingdom's public weather service.

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