Summary
Particles (PM10, PM2.5) and soot
Nitrogen oxides and dioxide
Ozone (O3)
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Sulphur dioxide (SO2)
Carbon monoxide (CO)
Lead and heavy metals
Toxic Organic Micropollutants
Greenhouse gasses (GHG)

Domestic and industrial air pollution when the use of coal and wood for heating was common
Environmental problems

PARTICLES (PM10, PM2.5) AND SOOT
Originates from the burning of fuels and makes monuments statues and buildings dirty and increases cleaning (windows) and maintenance costs. The role of this pollutant in global warming still poorly understood.


NITROGEN OXIDES (NOx), NITROGEN DIOXIDE (NO2)
Contribute to the formation of acid rain, affecting soils and vegetation. They increase nitrate concentration in soils and surface waters (eutrophication). They play a role in the formation of ozone.


OZONE (O3)
Ozone causes damage to a range of commercial crops and natural vegetation. It is a potent oxidising agent deterioration the quality of outdoor rubber, textiles, etc. Low level ozone plays a role in the greenhouse effect.


VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS (VOCs) SUCH AS BENZENE
Play a role in the formation of ozone precursors and other compounds with oxidising properties.


SULPHUR DIOXIDE (SO2)
Contributes to acid rain, affecting soils and vegetation. It is also a menace to certain types of stone used in buildings.


CARBON MONOXIDE (CO)
Carbon monoxide plays a role in ozone formation. It is also transformed in carbon dioxide, which is also directly emitted when fuels are being burnt. CO2 has no direct adverse health effects but it is the most abundant anthropogenic greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.


LEAD AND HEAVY METALS
Accumulate in the soil and enter the food chain of certain animals causing disorders.


TOXIC ORGANIC MICROPOLLUTANTS
Accumulate in the soil and enter the food chain of certain animals causing disorders.


GREENHOUSE GASSES (GHG)
Greenhouse gases (GHG) are the atmospheric gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect by absorbing infrared radiation produced by solar warming of the Earth's surface. They include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), ozone (O3) and water vapor. Although greenhouse occur naturally in the atmosphere, the elevated levels especially of carbon dioxide and methane that have been observed in recent decades are directly related to human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and the deforestation of tropical forests they have detrimental effects by rapidly increasing the hearth temperature and lead to unexpected climate change. 

Greenhouse gases have a global effect on the Earth whereas atmospheric pollutants have a local effect on health and environment. But both are linked. They have common sources: transports, heating, industries... And the impacts may be crossed:

- some pollutants such as ozone are also greenhouse gases
- the climate changes due to greenhouse gases may increase air quality problems.
That is the reason why it is important to find common solutions for greenhouse gases and air pollutants. Otherwise, some measures to reduce CO2 levels can affect the air quality. For example, biomass burning decreases CO2 emissions but increases particles emissions.


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