Although there are many chemicals and reactions that occur which cause air pollution, you may be able to narrow down the main sources which produce the most “sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and small dust particles (aerosols)”. The three major producers, according to Lenntech, an organization dedicated to cleaning up various chemicals and pollutants, are: major industry, agriculture and traffic. Major industries, such as auto and technology makers use various forms of combustion which pushes many toxins such as carbon dioxide and various sulphur oxides into the atmosphere. The agriculture industry uses many pesticides and fossil fuel powered equipment to grow and care for their products. Let’s also not forget the vast amount of methane emitted by the enormous beef industry. The third major producer is traffic in all its forms, from both fuel emissions and particles of dust and rubber (from tires) that are constantly being kicked up into the atmosphere.
Nitrogen oxides emitted from automobiles and factories are a precursor to ground-level ozone. Sulfur emissions contribute to aerosol formation, as do most pollutant emissions, and aerosols are a significant component of photochemical smog.
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