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A History of the Causes and Consequences of Air Pollution

  • Peter BrimblecombeEmail author
Chapter
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Abstract

Persistent pollutants remain in the environment for a long time. This obvious statement makes historical analysis important. Such analysis can be useful at times for even very practical issues such as the record of the activity at old industrial sites, which are planned for redevelopment. Because the atmosphere has a relatively rapid turnover, persistent materials are frequently found as deposits on the earth’s surface. This means there is a transition in the way we approach air pollution in comparison to earlier concerns over the pollutants smoke and sulphur dioxide from coal burning. These have relatively short lives in the atmosphere. There are long-lived pollutants such as nitrous oxide or carbonyl sulphide from aluminium production, that account for an increasing interest in such pollutants and their potential impact on the stratosphere. The best known example of persistence among the long-lived gases is the issue of CFCs and their relation to the widespread concern over the impacts they have on global climate and stratospheric ozone depletion.

Keywords

Late Eighteenth Century Ancient World Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Early Modern Period Stratospheric Ozone Depletion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Environmental SciencesUniversity of East AngliaNorwichUK

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