Air Pollution Is a Human Problem: Mary Catterall’s Campaign for Clean Air in Leeds, England

By Angela Saward, BA, MTA, Wellcome Collection

Dr. Mary Catterall (1922-2015), doctor and sculptor, script and medical adviser to the film, It Takes Your Breath Away, became concerned with lung health when she was appointed Senior Registrar in Respiratory Medicine at Leeds General Infirmary, England in 1960. The film won a Silver Medal at the British Medical Association annual film competition in 1964.

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Darkening Day: Air Pollution Films and Environmental Awareness, 1960–1972

By Jennifer Lynn Peterson, PhD

The 1960s represent a turning point in popular awareness about environmental problems. The modern environmental movement that emerged in the mid-1960s and early ‘70s focused on a new set of concerns such as air pollution, water pollution, and pesticides. More federal environmental bills were signed in the 1960s and early 1970s than at any other period in U.S. history.

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