Airports & aircraft are a significant source of pollution. ICAO (the Independent Civil Aviation Organisation) lists the following as pollutants just from aircraft exhaust, the result of burning kerosene:
CARBON MONOXIDE - this is the odourless gas also found in car exhaust that, if not properly vented, causes unconsciousness & death
UNBURNT HYDROCARBONS - includes formaldehyde, which is highly toxic, & commonly used by scientists to preserve biological specimens indefinitely without the need for refrigeration
SULFUR OXIDES - these react in the atmosphere to produce Sulfuric Acid & acid rain
PARTICULATE MATTER (PM) - better known as soot, it includes minute particles (PM2.5) that can penetrate deep into the lungs & cause diseases such as emphysema & lung cancer
NITROGEN OXIDES (NOx) - a family of poisonous, often brownish coloured gases
VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS (VOCS) such as Benzene & Acrolein. Long term exposure to benzene causes leukaemia (blood cancer). Acrolein is a highly toxic irritant that, when inhaled, even at very low levels, causes respiratory distress
OZONE - formed from reactions between NOx & VOCS. Ozone is the pollutant responsible for the haze that people generally associate with air pollution
SEMI-VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS (SVOCS) - some of which are damaging to the reproductive or respiratory systems, whilst others are known carcinogens. They can easily end up in groundwater due to storm water runoff, where they accumulate in both the water & sediment
In addition to the exhaust from planes, there are many other sources of pollution from airports. Non exhaust derived aircraft emissions, pollution from ground traffic, engineering operations, aircraft refueling operations, airport associated road traffic, heating & cooling systems, kitchens & restaurants & training exercises like fire fighting. You may recall the poisoning of farmland & water at Williamstown, caused by PFAS used at the nearby RAAF base. It has also been recorded that there is a 'toxic plume' of water underneath Sydney airport that's been accumulating from airport runoff since the 1970s.
https://www.smh.com.au/national/secret-documents-reveal-toxic-threat-beneath-sydney-airport-20181220-p50nfn.html#:~:text=The reports show alarming levels,airport's former fire training ground.
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