Anthropogenic Air Pollution in Ancient Times

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Citations (Scopus)


Pollution of the environment is coeval with mankind. Even early humans polluted the ambient air when they lit fires. The aim of this study is to select some major sources and some different areas of environmental pollution in ancient times. Most information is available from the most developed ancient cultures, namely China, the Roman Empire, and Israel. The most extensive hemispheric air pollution is associated with remarkable lead and copper mining and metallurgical activities in the Roman Empire and China. Household appliances and dishes made of these metals, especially of lead, contributed to their incorporation into the teeth and were conducive to severe illnesses.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHistory of Toxicology and Environmental Health
Subtitle of host publicationToxicology in Antiquity
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780128016343
ISBN (Print)9780128015063
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015



  • Copper mining
  • Copper pollution of the atmosphere
  • Illnesses caused by lead
  • Lead mining
  • Lead pollution of teeth
  • Lead pollution of the atmosphere
  • Use of lead

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Makra, L. (2015). Anthropogenic Air Pollution in Ancient Times. In History of Toxicology and Environmental Health: Toxicology in Antiquity (Vol. 2, pp. 21-41). Elsevier Inc..