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Book Chapter

Anthropogenic Sources of Air Pollution


Mallik,  Chinmay
Atmospheric Chemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Mallik, C. (2019). Anthropogenic Sources of Air Pollution. In P. Saxena, & V. Naik (Eds.), Air Pollution: Sources, Impacts and Controls (pp. 6-25).

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-118F-6
While 'Air Pollution' is an alarming term for environmentalists, policy makers, governments and common people, its 'anthropogenic sources' make it a formidable hazard to deal with. The universal dependence of humanity on fossil fuels, which has changed the way human beings live and breathe on this planet, has been a catastrophe for human health and the Earth's environment. Although there exists a myriad of anthropogenic air pollutants, their human-made sources, dominated by the combustion of fossil fuels, can be conveniently grouped into a few major sectors (energy, industry, agriculture and waste) for the purpose of comparison across various temporal and spatial domains, and the formulation of strategies to monitor and control their emissions. While hundreds of anthropogenic air pollutants are toxic, there exist six ubiquitous air pollutants which are regulated by the governments in most countries due to their significant harmful impacts on human health and the environment. The association of anthropogenic air pollutants and their emission sources is documented in the form of emission inventories, spanning local, regional and global domains. This chapter provides an overview of the types of air pollutants, their primary sources, and the estimate of their global emission strengths as represented in emission inventories.