Effects Of Air Pollution On Animals
This study, conducted in 1961, summarizes the knowledge at the time about the effects of air pollution on animals. This is one of the only major studies that addresses the issue of animals and air pollution.
This articles summarizes the outcome of major air pollution disasters and provides a review of animal-based laboratory experiments. The author finds that a dearth of knowledge regarding the specific characteristics of each animal species, as well as other environmental factors, influence the effects that air pollution will have on animals.
Highlights from media coverage of the study:
- A well-known smog incident in Donora, PA in 1948 is known to have made 15% of dogs sick and even killed 10 dogs out of the 229 included in survey records. Sicknesses included respiratory and digestive issues as well as refusal to eat. Out of 165 cats included in survey records, 12 got sick and 3 died. Poultry farmers also reported that their birds got sick, and 40% of those sick birds died.
- The sulfur dioxide from the London fog incident of 1952 reportedly affected cattle with bronchiolitis, emphysema, and heart failure. Some cattle died or were euthanized.
- In 1950 in Poza Rica, Mexico, hydrogen sulfide is reported to have killed 100% of canaries and approximately 50% of other animals who were exposed to the pollution.
- In lab tests, ozone has been shown to adversely affect dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rabbits and mice. It impacted their respiratory systems and also led to deaths.