Air Pollution

Czech Air Pollution
Factory smoke darkens the sky above Prague, Czech Republic. The Czech Republic faces a severe air pollution problem that is choking the nation’s land. Air pollution and subsequent acid rain has killed or damaged many of the country’s trees and badly degraded its soil.

Air Pollution, addition of harmful substances to the atmosphere resulting in damage to the environment, human health, and quality of life. One of many forms of pollution, air pollution occurs inside homes, schools, and offices; in cities; across continents; and even globally. Air pollution makes people sick—it causes breathing problems and promotes cancer—and it harms plants, animals, and the ecosystems in which they live. Some air pollutants return to Earth in the form of acid rain and snow, which corrode statues and buildings, damage crops and forests, and make lakes and streams unsuitable for fish and other plant and animal life.

Pollution is changing Earth’s atmosphere so that it lets in more harmful radiation from the Sun. At the same time, our polluted atmosphere is becoming a better insulator, preventing heat from escaping back into space and leading to a rise in global average temperatures. Scientists predict that the temperature increase, referred to as global warming, will affect world food supply, alter sea level, make weather more extreme, and increase the spread of tropical diseases.


Dewey, Scott H. Don't Breate the Air: Air Pollution and U.S. Environmental Politics, 1945-1970. Texas A&M University Press , 2000.
Historical treatment of the emergence of air pollution as an environmental issue.

Kidd, J. S., and Renee A. Kidd. Into Thin Air: The Problem of Air Pollution. Facts on File, 1998.
Suitable for young adult readers; examines the causes and types of air pollution and explains how air pollution affects our health and economic prosperity.

Liu, David H. F., and Bela G. Liptak, eds. Air Pollutions. Lewis Publishers, 2000.
Information on where air pollution comes from and how its sources are managed.

Miller, Christina G., and Louise A. Berry. Air Alert: Rescuing the Earth's Atmosphere. Atheneum, 1996.
Suitable for younger readers; discusses such atmospheric problems as smog and acid rain, the greenhouse effect, and the depletion of the ozone layer.

Miller, E. Willard, and Ruby M. Miller. Indoor Pollution: A Reference Handbook. ABC-CLIO, 1998.
A good first reference source for the what, where, why, and how of indoor air quality.

Somerville, Richard C. J. The Forgiving Air: Understanding Environmental Change. University of California Press, 1996.
Written for non-scientists; describes how environmental and human forces affect the atmosphere and includes the history of scientific discoveries that pioneered current environmental concerns.

Wark, Kenneth, Cecil F. Warner, and Wayne T. Davis. Air Pollution: Its Origin and Control. Addison-Wesley, 1997.
Well-regarded text.

Cited "Air Pollution," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2004 © 1997-2004 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.