London's fogs, which once romantically shrouded the nocturnal prowlings of Sherlock Holmes's Professor Moriarty,† Stevenson's Suicide Club and Mrs. Lowndes's Lodger, now veil an even grimmer killer: the estimated three tons of soot and ash that sift daily out of the sky over each square mile of Britain's larger cities. In one smog-bound week last December, 4,000 Londoners died from trying to breathe the noxious combination of smoke and fog that choked their city.

Last week, as the first real pea-souper of this year's smog season rolled over London, 6,000 doctor-members of the London Local Medical Committee, deeply distressed "at...

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