How polluted were G7 countries during industrialization?

Aug 2013
613
Pomerium
Are there records with measurements (like PM 2.5, PM 10) showing how polluted the air, water, and soil were in the 7 countries* during industrialization?
* US, UK, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, Canada

Did the smaller Western countries (like Switzerland, Sweden) become developed without any severe self-inflicted pollution?
 

Linschoten

Ad Honoris
Aug 2010
16,225
Welsh Marches
Presumably extremely polluted, but within restricted areas, now less extreme pollution but much more general. (I am old enough to have seen a London smog in which one could hardly see across to the opposite side of the street; many of the buildings in London were very black in those days too.)
 

Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,655
Benin City, Nigeria
The "Great Stink" of London in 1858 may have had something to with industrialization. Or it may not, since there are some similar earlier incidents.
 
Jan 2018
1,609
China (Hong Kong SAR)
Presumably extremely polluted, but within restricted areas, now less extreme pollution but much more general. (I am old enough to have seen a London smog in which one could hardly see across to the opposite side of the street; many of the buildings in London were very black in those days too.)
Ha, funny, that was taken advantage of as part of research (mainly statistical) concerning natural selection and its effects on the species phenotypic distributions.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peppered_moth_evolution
 

Sindane

Ad Honorem
Aug 2013
4,692
Europe
Quote from 1846

"Every other factory town in England is a paradise in comparison to this hole. In Manchester the air lies like lead upon you; in Birmingham it is just as if you were sitting with your nose in a stove pipe; in Leeds you have to cough with the dust and the stink as if you had swallowed a pound of Cayenne pepper in one go - but you can put up with all that. In Bradford, however, you think you have been lodged with the devil incarnate. If anyone wants to feel how a poor sinner is tormented in Purgatory, let him travel to Bradford".


George Weerth, a young German on holiday in England, describing industrial cities in an article that he wrote for a German newspaper.
 
Aug 2013
613
Pomerium
...
George Weerth, a young German on holiday in England, describing industrial cities in an article that he wrote for a German newspaper.
Does that mean Germany learned the lesson from Great Britain?
Did Japan also learn the lesson from the ones earlier in the game?
What about Canada? Sparsely populated, did the environment remain pristine during industrialization?
 
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notgivenaway

Ad Honorem
Jun 2015
5,787
UK
Germany had, and has, polluted waterways. If anything, it's the EU that has greatly enhanced the environment via its laws/standards.

The USA exterminated buffalo (which kind of is an environmental concern), and polluted waterways also.

As for Canada, I guess given its size, the effect would have been less marked. Ontario is far and away the biggest province economy in the country but even then it's not that densely populated.

I don't think a country can industrialise without impacting the environment. this will only change with totally green energy. China has lost its river dolphins because of its growth, and India still holds a lot of polluted rivers.
 

Linschoten

Ad Honoris
Aug 2010
16,225
Welsh Marches
There has been massive local pollution just about everywhere during the early stages of industrial development.
 
Aug 2013
613
Pomerium
So we've basically established that UK was worst, Canada was least bad, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and US were too close to call.

Who were in a league of their own? My guess is Scandinavia, Switzerland, and New Zealand.