Worldwide, pollution is a leading cause of death and causes substantial economic damage.
Worldwide, particulate pollution is generated across the economy, especially from home combustion of biomass and coal. Forest and savannah fires are the major natural source of particulates.
As of 2011, particulate air pollution in the United States caused nearly $900 billion in damages .
Damages from air pollution depend both on the nature of the pollutant and where it is released; generally, pollutants released in high population density areas do more damage. Following are estimated monetized damage from particulate pollution by source .
Indoor air pollution contributes to 1.6 million  to 2.9 million  deaths per year. The main source of indoor air pollution is cooking, particularly with traditional biofuels in poor countries, and the death toll is trending down with development .
Freshwater and soil acidification are the reduction of pH in water and the soil, a process that harms ecosystems and soil fertility. Acid rain, a form of acidification, further harms ecosystems and buildings. Three main gases--sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and ammonia--are artificial causes of acidification, though some other gases play smaller roles .
Following are estimates of major sources of sulfur dioxide and ammonia emissions worldwide and nitrogen oxide emissions in the United States.
Aside from direct impacts on human health, atmospheric aerosols have effects on the climate that are not yet fully understood. Current natural and human-caused aerosol emissions are estimated as follows.
Most major classes of aerosols should cause short-term global cooling, by reflecting more sunlight than they absorb. The exception is black carbon, which causes warming . A major source of uncertainty in the impact of aerosols is in their interaction with cloud formation . If all aerosols from human activity were to cease, the result would be an estimated 0.5℃ to 1.1℃ global warming and a 2-4.6% increase in precipitation , in contrast to the nearly 1℃ observed since the start of industrialization and 2℃ target set by the Paris Agreement. The cooling effect motivates interest in intentionally releasing aerosols into the upper atmosphere to offset global warming.
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