Recognizing the need for measures to control air pollution involves education and research, which informs us that the burning of biomass and fossil fuels is the most significant air pollutant source and major anthropogenic source of carbon dioxide there is on the planet. Another high number for pollution is the energy supply increase of 57% between the years 1973 and 1998 oil, natural gas, and coal along with lesser forms such as nuclear, hydropower, and other sources. The energy supply varied from one area of the world over another, with biomass considered an important energy source in developing worlds. Unfortunately, it is also a number one source of indoor air pollution in these same countries requiring tighter control measures.
Yet quite recently, there has been a decline and stabilization of air pollutant emissions in industrialized countries, due to abatement policies that have been developed and put in place since the late 1900s. Cost effective pollution measures were put in place as a result of cooperation between environmental protective measures in addition to economic growth.
Acid rain, or acid precipitation, is a major environmental concern which needs stricter air pollution control measures, measured recently in Europe and North America along with recent observations in China. Lost fish populations in Scandinavia were due to acidification from the 1950s to 1980s, but there has been a 70% reduction in some European areas of the anthropogenic SO2 emissions which were leading to acid rain. A large recovery of natural acid balance was developed because of this, pointing to excellent applications for measures to control air pollution. The United States has recently had a 40% reduction within the United States of the same yet Asia and the Pacific Region are increasing in their use of coal along with high sulphur fuels which is raising emission levels to a serious environmental threat.
Rapid urbanization is resulting in an increase in many major cities with the air quality guidelines of the World Health Organizational occasionally not met, as air pollution control measures are demonstrating in areas such as Calcutta, Mexico City, Beijing, and Rio de Janeiro high levels of SMP are being shown. Additionally, persistent organic pollutants (POPs) which transport over long distances through the air, found in polar areas and are known to decay rather slowly. Serious regional impacts upon the environment can occur, accumulating in animal fats which represent health risks. Measures to control air pollution POPs are to eliminate the production and usage of intentionally produced POPs, eliminating any unintentional need for them if possible.