What Are Common Causes of Air Pollution?

Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier/CC-BY-SA 2.0

Some common causes of air pollution are second-hand tobacco smoke, agricultural fertilizer application, fuel combustion from transportation, and industrial processes such as mining, fuel refinery and chemical manufacturing. Other sources of air pollution include livestock waste, solvent application for degreasing purposes, commercial cooking and naturally occurring events such as wildfires.

Six common pollutants compose the majority of air pollution, including nitrogen dioxide, ozone, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, carbon monoxide and lead. Air pollution resulting from a variety of sources is responsible for 1.3 million deaths per year worldwide, as of 2015, and creates a major risk factor for various acute and chronic respiratory diseases.