This paper explores the challenges, opportunities and progress made with managing air quality since the United Kingdom parliament passed the Clean Air Act, 1956. It seeks to identify the factors contributing to successful management of air quality and the factors that have acted, or continue to do so, as barriers to progress. The public health catastrophe of the 1952 London Smog created the political momentum for the 1956 Act to be passed. The nature of the contemporary air pollution challenge is reviewed in terms of the public health burden, the economic cost and the governmental response. The contemporary response is considered inadequate for the scale and intensity of the problem.
air pollution, air quality management, public health, policy, regulation
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