If a conversation regarding chemical pollution begins with metals, fuel combustion cannot be far behind. In fact, the two are inextricably linked, as the extraction of metals from ore, also known as smelting, requires considerable heat. Combustion, whether employed to coax metals from ore, to cook dinner, or simply to heat a home, is a messy business in its own right. Whether the fuel combusted is wood, coal, or oil, the consequences of combustion are soot, ash, and smoke. As we shall see, exposure to these end products comes with a significant toxicological price tag.
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