Hold your breath; Air pollution control in the community, part two
The following tape recorded programs distributed through the facilities of the National Association of educational broadcasters. Just hold your breath. Hold your breath as long as you can go soon discover how vital this natural resource is. Yes air is the most precious substance we have when it's clean it's healthy and useful when it's polluted. It's costly and it kills. Air pollution is a threat to our way of life and you should know more about it in these radio programs produced by Michigan State University under a grant from United States Public Health Service. Every aspect of this national problem from health effects to economic considerations will be discussed. Air pollution will be viewed by legislators scientists and
public health officials representatives of industry. That's why we challenge you to draw some logical and responsible conclusions. Air pollution can be discussed on many levels. Some practical some theoretical but it comes down to one thing as far as the average citizen is concerned. The error in his own community. Today we'll continue to examine ways in which communities meet their air pollution challenges. Our focal point is the man charged with looking out for the communities air the air pollution control officer. In your opinion Mr. Ben line can a growing community of one that is truly progressive neglect air pollution control. Definitely not why not. One reason is that I think the big people in California have a pretty good. Story these days the thing obtains elsewhere in California they are now saying we're going to run out of AM before when I want to. You can live without water for a considerable length of time you can live without food for considerably the time you can't live without it.
And more particularly below today. And if you mean Lower California they're concerned about running out of good clean pure fresh air this same thing can happen here. In the beholders all of our people to be concerned about the fact that we do so but I would say what is the approach that you have used in New York City in developing your air control air pollution control program. I don't think it's any one thing it's a combination of numerous days. It's a problem public education dissemination of information. This is recommended strongly by the surgeon general. It's a program of engineering inspection and laboratory activities. The problem of trying to get cooperation from the public. Do you have any specific objectives that could be shared at this time. I don't know how specific we can be there are many things that we do we and try to have a long range program and I'm sure that all air pollution control authority will use this same story that they don't have the stay if they don't have the facilities to do the job that should be done.
It's our purpose of course to try to eliminate until we do so as far as possible polluters I really am. I said a moment ago we do it by various methods in our inspection service we check on the complaints received from the public. And this is not too productive because out of eight million people in the city of New York we get about 20000 complaints a year. And even some of the 20000 repetitive. In these complaints we don't get useful information. Later in the series we'll discuss the problem of citizen participation and public education in air pollution in the last program we heard about the problem of pollution sources outside the jurisdiction of the community. Pollution Control Officer these outside sources constitute perhaps the most frustrating aspect of the control officers job. We talked about it with Mr Arthur ban line the man responsible for the condition of New York City's air. Other sources of air pollution that affect New York City that originate outside of your boundaries.
Yes I have been quoted frequently about saying that not only New York City but the entire East Coast of the United States is on the tail end of an approximately 3000 mile aerial PSLE which starts on the West Coast. We get pollution anywhere in the country that does not drop out on the way and eventually drops off here before it gets out into the attic. Last week we had one of the 40 cities active in the Air Pollution Control Association and engage in an operation called Project daily of clean air we Committee released a stable whom we found the shirt in white will build we do this every year in this is to dramatize the direction of the wind currents take all who was in previously as have been found in Long Island northern suburbs of New York City Connecticut Rhode Island. Measure choose and so on which indicate that the pollution OEM to the air can be carried into the air just as bad as best or as far as a balloon can be carried and no National Committee in checking the 240 cities which do the same operation of releasing the boom. I know that almost all the balloons wind up somewhere
some way east of the city from which the booms are released. Another example is that when the bombs or the atomic bombs have exploded in the Nevada desert or in the Pacific at some predictable time 24 48 72 hours later we get the fallout from those bombs when the Russians set the bombs off in the Arctic. We get the whole of those bombs again 48 72 hours later. So that is good evidence that the pollution does carry one other example I cite is this in our laboratory frequently we will find it this time when the evidence of the woods will not our instruments. We will check and find there are no profit by it at the present time either in New York City the suburbs in New Jersey or in Pennsylvania then by checking our source of information for that we find Farage by his originating in Ohio Indiana or other states. This would small when she comes to New York with the particulate matter that is part of the overall picture. What about the air pollution sources that originate again outside of New York
City but closer to full from the surrounding states or from the traffic in your harbor. Does this effect New York City. Yes it does. But what are you doing about it. We have a revolution cooperative here in the New York-New Jersey cooperative committee we worked on the interstates habitation Commission which had been in charge for very many years I think Day back in 1946 was trying to clean up the waters of New York City and the entire area surrounding New York City. That was between the two of the three states including Connecticut. We endeavored to locate by means of maps and by plotting and charting Cygnus is a pollution for example we have had numerous instances at this time of the chemical load is bouncing around various parts of the New York City area. These chemical odors can be traced and all too often can be traced to a certain factory I wanted to factories in New Jersey. We exchange information of course we are not entirely blameless once in a while although the predominant wind is from the West
Wing when on occasion the odors or the smoke blows from New York toward Jersey. There is danger and let us know about it. What about the ships in the harbor they got your problem. They do we have a so-called Marine Division the other misnomer we have two or three minute the most assigned to this large division. Last year our fines are from the Marine Division came to a little over twelve hundred now this year they came with a $600 we station I'm going to vantage points on the waterfront and check the ships coming in and out with the use of binoculars obviously when we get a ship coming in we're in a better position to go to the pier where the ship docks immediately serve a summons and there's not a purpose try to be punitive or supper but rather to be persuasive. But all too often the engineers aboard ships change and the engineer who blew the last time with and was one in fine. About It has been replaced by a new new and new There's no any better. Ship owners are equally is a stupid and responsible as guilty as the show
Voicebase landlord. They waste their money to. Smokers of the fluence money out of the pocket. Is this control that you have can give you control over vessels of foreign registry. Yes it does. They can be cited before our courts if this is effective it's effective and we must say that there are some of the lines are most co-operative on the other hand we have lines who come to us and make important the passionate steamship lines who tell us that they know that their ships are old or decrepit and then there isn't too much that can be done about the boy or the bearings under these conditions they try their best to keep them under control. But all too often some operating defect happens in the equipment. Goes wrong. Well it happened with good automobiles or limousines on the streets or going to happen onto a ship to the outside sources of pollution which continually Harris control officers in all our major metropolitan areas are frustrating because their departments cannot legally cope with them. OK JW only contacts or agreements can be made whereby through a
cooperative effort a solution to the problem is reached. In most instances however it's the citizens in the community itself who are the most frequent if not the major contributors to local air pollution. Do you know the problem is with regard to domestic sources of air pollution in the New York area. Yes any place where there was combustion friends in the oil burning any cold bird or ice and incinerate is primarily a domestic source. We have example in New York City 29000 incinerators in apartment houses. And let's for a moment to go to the situation of the who obtained it was and was a few years ago. Each individual small home or not as many apartment houses are the exit. It was a hit as they do in New York. Each individual's form of that was had what was loosely termed an incinerator in his backyard. Everybody went out and bring their own knowledge. But it was not the center it was a concrete box would you bring garbage in one of the finest and most significant things of those and it was Atari did was immediately outlaw these incinerators and go with a citywide collection of the
garbage and bring in municipal incinerators. We have the problem here picking up a New York City all of our garbage and many years ago then the public street cleaning and sanitation encouraged to build a human powered House and Senate race we don't have them in the backyard and we don't have the facilities the whole ten team as they do in the final climate was Angelus but all of our 14000 scenarios are bad including the ones in the housing authority projects. Recently the New York City Housing Authority has taken a very forward step. In modifying some of these incinerators. This department in conjunction with the U.S. Public Health Service in New York University showed the way by engaging in a combined party to form Hill House in the Bronx on how to best modify incinerators. Let's go on to the next one then which is the ordinary oil burning. You can look out upon the wind scape and I assure you it's a lot cleaner now than it was some years ago there was a time you looked out this or any other window and saw plumes of smoke rising all over.
I think it's partly an engineering and partly public relations that have convinced owners that the stuff that comes out that you need is money. It may look black and gray and maybe a detail into what comes with the oil but it's still endless money going up the chimney and not too many limbless realize this more and more they're beginning to realize that they can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars a year by wetting the surface spoke of the fuel because of an incompetent janitor or a bad piece of equipment I think you can look out the window right now and find very few of these conditions. Enough of them to be annoying enough for us to take action on it. But this combustion is still pretty bad around the city. Coal having price itself largely out of the market and that is still in effect in many places coal can be burned economically. There is equipment for many of the National Coal working as Asians are very co-operative and then they give. Any Only the benefit of how to bring his call and get his money's worth out of it. But it goes back to the individual who does know what he's doing what he's wasting.
Mr. Ben Lyon told us of an interesting case in New York City. It's a good example of a nuisance which upon further research proved to be a quite serious air pollution problem. It's been mined it is and it's my understanding that the department of air pollution control and the Health Department are concerned about the pigeon problem in New York City can you tell us a little bit about that. Yes we get very many complaints from the public not only about the dried a feces of patients or dried droppings but of course about some of the whip droppings which anybody is subject to do if they walk up and down the streets of any one of our cities and we became acutely aware of it particularly in connection with the demolition of all buildings and which had been infested with patients for a great many years. The demolition of the building stirred up these dried feces to a very appreciable degree. You know average Tory went to work to find out what we could do what we can do about it. We checked the records of a number of our. Associates in the field. We found a Dr jean for example when he
was health commissioner I could have done something effective about disposing of pigeons in that city. We find from Dr. James now medical colleagues that many of diseases are directly attributable to pages to patients. To Dr. fee to patients when I say pigeons I also include Stalin some of the other birds of that type. And then food critic of course is Michael meningitis silicosis and a few other unpleasant diseases. I am going to quote Dr James directly but I think I can say that he and his associates have said their people have been known to have acquired one of these fungus diseases and the deaf to take good will merely say pneumonia with a more thorough and surround these patients would have resulted in a finding of one of these of the known disease and we are working closely with the Department of Health to have a test was on the Dr. Litman and we believe that something seriously and should be something serious should be done about this most unpleasant type of pollution our Rashtriya our
laboratory has found that in the anatomy. He the draftees of these species in the essence the average daily intake is about 15000 points a b a day that anywhere between 3 and 300 Michael and maybe in just a daily by the human bein's a very unpleasant thought. New York City as Mr. Ben Linus explained has some peculiar air pollution sources and problems. Los Angeles is another city that has a complex pollution picture not common to most other areas. For this reason they maintain more stringent regulations to ensure its control. And here in Los Angeles. We have to have stringent controls on account of our meteorological condition our growing community the increasing number of sources of the mission contributing to an air supply that we had a thousand years ago and will have a thousand years from now and which has become overloaded at this point and in the face of a growing
industrial complex in the face of increase of 200000 automobiles a year. We have to be increasingly more stringent in our air pollution control program. Other cities I think in my experience. You do not need at the present time because they have a stronger rate or average wind velocities they'd have have less of an inversion problem. I don't necessarily have to adopt this sort of a stringent program I think the important thing for other cities to do is is to do that which we finally did is to determine the type of an air pollution problem we have. What pollutants constitute the difficulty. And from which source do these pollutants come.
In other words an inventory of the amount of aerial garbage that goes into the air over your community that you're breathing. And after they've made this determination then they can develop their control program any other type of approach is my opinion. Very expensive and probably not entirely necessary and will have to be done over at a considerable cost to everyone involved. That's Mr. S. Smith Griswold control officer for the Los Angeles County Air Pollution Control District. Los Angeles is peculiar not only because of its geography and meteorology but its rapid expansion if its growth continues the future of its air supply could be a critical consideration. Just a gradual do you see if you get your crystal ball out. What are the things that you're now doing with the things that you're hopeful that the state is going to do concerning a motor vehicle exhaust. Do you see the end of the
smog problem in Los Angeles. I Briney feel that we can within a relatively few years after we start installing controls on motor vehicle exhausts completely relieve our air pollution problem. If we continue stringent controls of stationary sources of pollution. Wow. The only thing that constitutes a source of concern to me is the rate of growth of this particular community. Los Angeles it is an explosive growth where for instance in my jurisdiction alone we have some 200 new industries or expansion of existing industries start operations every month. We have 200000 additional motor vehicles a year.
And other words we have had to run very fast and in controlling air pollution in order to stay even with us without getting into the back load which has caused the problem. I feel that that Eventually however say in 1980 when we have instead of three and a half million cars in Los Angeles County will have 7 million to 8 million cars in Los Angeles County that out completely new type of engine in a fuel will be required that possibly the people of Los Angeles cannot drive any car that they want to with the harsh power far in excess of their needs in that particular community where where I don't want a vehicle will not have the. God given right to suck in a certain quantity of Ali air that it needs to go to combust these gas is
in excess of the amount of power needed to get from one place to another over the relatively flat country of the Los Angeles basin. Unless there is a much cleaner fuel than the one than gasoline I foresee a time when controlled to the 80 percent as the present goals are to roll back the smog to the 1940 level when the when no one complained about air pollution I will say the time when we get enough of these units putting out an uncontrolled 20 percent is going to get us back in a jam just as bad as anyone we've had in the past. We have attempted to acquaint you with several aspects of technical and administrative problems of the control officer the man responsible on the local level for the condition of his community's air. Another serious obstacle faced by these dedicated officials is gaining support of ordinary citizens like you and me. We know that without
active public interest very little can be accomplished. Oh and the air pollution control field. Do we go about securing public understanding and support. I think that the main feature here is a concerted and well integrated broad based educational program. I think this speaks for many social control programs that you may wish to affect in any community and air pollution is one of them. What are you doing in Detroit about this. We're doing a number of things such as the preparation of public education pamphlets which we distribute through the schools through civic associations the libraries and other media and which indicates if a person wishes to read in that the meaning of air pollution what it does to the public what it does to the individual where it comes from the sources in other words of these pollution and what the individual himself
can do to help relieve this situation so we have a comprehensive message for him to follow. We also participate as actively as possible in any program such as this getting messages out through the radio. We try to get on TV as often as possible to get our messages across to the public. We have spot announcements which we distribute at the stations which. Thank God have themselves a feeling a responsibility to get this message to the public and that they feel are they contributing in their small way of getting this message out by allowing us to showing these spot announcements. We also have been able fortunately recently been able to procure the assistance of a group of very dynamic and forward thinking industrialists in the creation of a Detroit clean air Committee. Tell us about the Detroit cleaner air Committee. This committee was organized three years ago by
a group of industrialists who felt that the public should be made aware of the problem of air pollution and the manner in which they individually could help correct this. Now this is obviously a forward thinking group of people because sometimes you find that some industrials don't like to discuss what they've been able to achieve. But here's a group of people that have. God banded together and have actively supported in the way of actions and in a way of monetary support and providing a public continuing public education campaign on air pollution in this community. I look with favor on this because I had great difficulty in selling this particular thing frankly within our own administration and that is the need of continuing public education programs. Could you be more specific and tell us what this Detroit cleaner committee has done are there any specific examples that might be best friends that they have provided. Like I said mainly the fines with which we were able develop a nice. Slides
for our spot announcements. They provided funds for the development of a 13 minute Technicolor sound film which we are going to distribute through civic associations and business groups in the near future. They provided funds for the printing. Placemats which we're distributing the leading restaurants in the city of Detroit which again give this message about the problem of air pollution what can be done about it by the individual. We've provided I think another thing is an awareness within their own company of the need to support an activity of this sort. And they are creating this imagery that I was talking about before which is excellent. They have supported. Various gimmicks such as contests which we've held locally on a contest to guess how much dirt is suspended in the air in the offering of a prize and through this mechanism of course we've been able get publicity in the newspapers which again gets the message out to the public very strongly this group has supported the need for an effective air pollution
control program to be administered in the city of Detroit and we look with favor that they are doing so in the field of water pollution control a probably the greatest public awareness at least in my opinion is comes from the conservationists. We did interferes with fishes. It interferes with their use of the stream for recreational purposes. And they the health aspects while they are there they're not as important in the minds of the public. Why is air pollution any different. It's hard for me to actually pin down a reason why it's different it's actually a newer field. As you know doctor our water pollution problems have been with us many many years too and it hasn't been until recently that we've gotten this type of support from the public and perhaps maybe this comes of being at the sportsman. Take great pride in being able go out and fish in an area where you know water isn't really clean where they take out their boats so that doesn't get
scum or dirty oil on it. And this is something very real to them they see visible evidence of what the effects of polluted water are upon them. But the effects of air pollution are much more subtle and they're not quite as demonstrative at least not as yet except in some very rare situations or specific situations. And it just gets back to this idea of can we continue need of. Education of the public to understand the fact that this isn't a dramatic thing that this thing isn't a thing that is something that happens overnight but that it is a long term problem one which will may affect them over many many years and you shouldn't have to wait until there is a crisis before you take any action. There's a tendency on the part of some of us to remain apathetic toward social problems until as more than sterling of Detroit puts it a crisis develops. Arthur Ben line chief of air pollution control in New York City is worried about the public's concept of
air pollution and its control. It's been like has your experience with the public indicated that the individual citizen actually understands the problem of air pollution. A very few do. A great many citizens have approximation of the problem. And then I suppose a large number of citizens a kickabout to complain about it I think this is more obvious in the Luas Angeles area where the newspapers continuously feed this information of the public and continuously frighten and warn them. We have our share here. How can we improve this public knowledge of the problem this is. Process I think this is going to take longer than this entire program to cover all the aspects then the fact that the federal government makes this information available is fine but the federal government only the sellers of this information to the superintendent documents the public is not going to buy it is the newspapers the radio and the television producer vision information to give the public a smattering of the problem and stop at this point this is the same
in any one of the problems that we have with this traffic safety your general public health or well elections or politics or anything else. Do you think that the average citizen that this if there is such a thing at this stage of the game understands enough about air pollution and its effects to be willing to make some type of sacrifice to achieve cleaner air. Not the average citizen the individual few the better educated but even then we obtain the we have received whether it is from doctors educators people that ought to know better and they come up with the most preposterous concept of what's going on. One basic concept is why don't you in New York City put on all your automobiles there's no magic miraculous device which is now mandatory in all automobiles in his answers. The answer is there is no such device. The device that we now have the blow by device on the front of the Rubio is now mandatory in the state of New York the industry finally got around to doing it and one of the better divisive is a part of a overhaul on
- Hold your breath
- Producing Organization
- Michigan State University
- WKAR (Radio/television station : East Lansing, Mich.)
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/500-3775z12h).
Interviewee: Benlein, Arthur
Interviewee: Griswold, S. Smith
Interviewee: Sterling, Morton
Interviewer: Heustis, Albert E.
Producer: Ford, Patrick
Producing Organization: Michigan State University
Producing Organization: WKAR (Radio/television station : East Lansing, Mich.)
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 63-36-11 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
- Chicago: “Hold your breath; Air pollution control in the community, part two,” 1963-11-08, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed January 20, 2021, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-3775z12h.
- MLA: “Hold your breath; Air pollution control in the community, part two.” 1963-11-08. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. January 20, 2021. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-3775z12h>.
- APA: Hold your breath; Air pollution control in the community, part two. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-3775z12h