Air pollution sources

Air pollution takes place when chemicals contaminate the atmosphere affecting its structure and composition and producing significant harmful effects on human health, animals, vegetation and environmental quality.
Air pollutants can be classified according to their origin:

  • anthropogenic (man-made) sources, which are the result of various human activities;
  • natural sources such as fire particles, volcanic eruptions and degradation of organic matter.

Contaminants can also be classified as:

  • primary pollutants, such as sulphur dioxide or nitrogen monoxide, which are directly emitted into the atmosphere from its sources;
  • secondary pollutants, as ozone, which are formed as a result of chemical reactions in the atmosphere.

Anthropogenic pollution is caused by major stationary point sources as industries, incinerators and thermoelectric plants, minor stationary point sources as domestic heating systems, and by mobile point sources such as vehicular traffic.

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