Air pollution occurs when harmful substances including particulates and biological molecules are introduced into earth's atmosphere. it may cause diseases, allergies or death of humans; it may also cause harm to other living organisms such as animals and food crops, and may damage the natural or built environment. human activity and natural processes can both generate air pollution. indoor air pollution and poor urban air quality are listed as two of the world's worst toxic pollution problems in the 2008 blacksmith institute world's worst polluted places report. according to the 2014 world health organization report, air pollution in 2012 caused the deaths of around 7 million people worldwide, an estimate roughly echoed by one from the international energy agency.