Air pollution is caused by a wide variety of things. The earth is great at cleaning the air on its own. However, air pollution has grown so much, the earth can no longer clean all of it. This is starting to have adverse effects on the environment such as causing acid rain, smog and a wide variety of health problems.

Combustion Engine Exhaust

Cars, trucks, jet airplanes and other combustion engine vehicles cause air pollution. The exhaust from these contains carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide and gaseous oxide. This type of air pollution creates smog (as seen in Los Angeles) which causes respiratory health problems and holes in the ozone layer, which increases the exposure to the sun's harmful rays.


Factories, office buildings, homes and power-generating stations burn fossil fuels, which cause air pollution. The burning of oil and coal (fossil fuels) also contributes to smog. This air pollution destroys plants, damages buildings and creates oxidation on iron.


Petroleum refineries release hydrocarbons and various particulates that pollute the air.

Power Lines

Some power lines are not insulated and are high voltage. This creates air pollution 1.


Pesticides used to kill indoor and outdoor pests, insecticides used to kill insects and herbicides use to kill weeds all cause air pollution.

Radioactive Fallout

Radioactive fallout causes air pollution from the nuclear energy dispersed, which is a dust.

Fertilizer Dust

Dust from fertilizers used to help plants grow causes air pollution.

Indoor Air Pollution

Sick building syndrome (SBS) is the term used when there is indoor air pollution. This happens when there is not enough ventilation to disburse the toxic fumes from new carpet, paint and/or cleaning chemicals that are used indoors. Mold can also cause SBS.

Mining Operations

Mining causes air pollution by releasing a variety of particles.

Mills and Plants

Mills and plants, include:

  • paper mills
  • chemical plants
  • iron mills
  • steel mills
  • cement plants
  • asphalt plants
  • release emissions into the air causing air pollution