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Control of Air Pollution in Manchester prior to the Public Health Act, 1875

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Industrialising cities of the 19th century are seen as lax in environmental matters. However, Manchester took a strong stand against air pollution. It modified complex medieval administrative practices to address industrial pollution, and created new bodies (e.g. Police Commissioners) that considered environmental matters. Its committees and inspectors worked diligently, but pro-industrial sympathies prevented systematic prosecution of industrial offenders. Nevertheless, the smoke menace was certainly systematically addressed. Effective response was limited by inadequate abatement technology, despite a rapid evolution of the administrative policy prior to the Public Health Act 1875.

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Keywords: local government; nuisance; sanitary reform; smoke abatement

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2000

More about this publication?
  • Environment and History is an interdisciplinary journal which aims to bring scholars in the humanities and biological sciences closer together, with the deliberate intention of constructing long and well-founded perspectives on present day environmental problems.

    Environment and History has a Journal Impact Factor (2018) of 0.800. 5 Year Impact Factor: 0.918.
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