Untill the 1980s, aerosol cans used clorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as a propellant. The CFCs were found to harm the ozone layer, so 70 nations signed the Montreal Protocol, gradually decreasing use of CFCs. CFCs are no longer used as propellants, but the propellants used now can be harmful. Often liquified petroleum gas (LPG) is used as a propellant. This is a volitile chemical that vaporizes into a flammable gas. As it is released from the can, it becomes a volitile organic compound (VOC) which is a component of smog.
This has some more information about aerosols and their propellants: http://www.yorks.karoo.net/aerosol/link4.htm.
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