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In this situation the cooler, pollutant-laden surface air is held near the ground by the warm air above it. If the winds during such an inversion are absent or very light, pollutants cannot move either upward or horizontally. The high-pressure cell that started Episode 104 began to spread rapidly from its source area at the southern tip of Lake Michigan after August 22. On that day in Chicago, a Friday, the level of sulfur dioxide pollution was triple that of the previous day; by Saturday a massive high-pressure area extended south from the Great Lakes to the Gulf and eastward to the Atlantic.
If the air is calm, the pollutant will be concentrated in a small area, but wind movement will distribute it over a wider area. The steady point sources of emission into the lower layers of the atmosphere are the most familiar, the most evident to the general public, and the most studied. A line source of pollutants occurs when a number of point sources are connected. A heavily trafficked highway is a line source of pollutants, as are a number of chemical or heavy industrial plants strung out along a valley route.
In 1843, there was another Parliamentary Select Committee, and in 1845, a third. ] by laying down the dictum that they must consume their own smoke. The Town Improvement Clauses Act two years later applied the same panacea to factory furnaces. Then 1853 and 1856 witnessed two acts of Parliament dealing specifically with London and empowering the police to enforce provisions against smoke from furnaces, public baths and washhouses and furnaces Page 3 used in the working of steam vessels on the Thames.