The gases, fumes, and suspended particulates emitted from a factory or furnace smokestack. It has been customary since the beginning of the industrial revolution to use this method to disperse emissions, in the belief that atmospheric dilution would somehow eliminate the toxic ingredients. Of course, nothing of the sort happens. Instead, all the toxic substances in the effluent—trace amounts of lead, mercury, arsenic, carcinogenic hydrocarbons, many other toxic substances, etc.—are dispersed as fallout over a wide area in the plume.
Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.