14 FEBRUARY 1880, Page 3

The poisonous character of London fog is well illustrated in

the Registrar-General's report for the week ending February 7th. The deaths in London were 3,376, or 1,657 more than they ought -to have been, the death-rate having risen from 24.6 per 1,000 to 48-1 per 1,000. The increase was in great measure in deaths from diseases of the respiratory organs, which rose to 1,557 in -one week, nearly four times the average, which is 439 per week ; and from whooping-cough, which were 280. It is remarkable that it is London fog alone which produces these results for, although the fogs extended to all the principal towns, their death-rate was much more nearly normal. Moreover, even' London did not suffer equally, for, while "in the West End districts the increase did not exceed 32 per cent., it was equal to 83 per cent. in the East districts." A considerable propor- tion of deaths is due, no doubt, to cold ; but the fog seems to strangle persons with a tendency to bronchitis, and obliged to live but poorly. No recent year has shown any approach to such mortality, except 1873, when on December 20th, after a week of low temperature and fog, the mortality reached 37 per 1,000. It is asserted, on authority, that the fogs this year have been worse than for fifty years previous ; and certainly since 1863 there has been no fog like that of Saturday, January 31st. The roar of London stopped for some hours.