铅的开采和其他矿物的冶炼对个人和工人的健康构成严重威胁。在罗马的各种采矿活动中，由于矿山的有害排放物，工人失去了他们的爱。一旦这些活动开始，越来越多的问题正在污染空气。伊比利亚半岛、高卢、希腊和英国的采矿作业留下了一堆堆黑色矿渣，进一步改变了地貌。著名的希腊地理学家和历史学家斯特拉博(约公元前64年-公元前23年)提到了熔炉的有毒金属排放物，以及这些化学物质是如何从高高的烟囱排放到空气中并污染环境的(Hughes, 2014)。在1578年，伊丽莎白女王也反对在该国的采矿作业，因为海豹煤对环境造成了影响。她提到，烟雾正在造成各种各样的肺部死亡，将对市民造成影响。随着时间的推移，城市里的烟雾越来越浓，每一天，当转化为木材和木炭的化石燃料消耗。一些有影响力的人物对空气中的这些排放提出了抗议。约翰·伊夫林(John Evelyn)的小册子中提到了抗议这些云的例子:
Human activities at the time of Ancient Rome and Greek causing ecological problems。“First smelted in Anatolia and Mesopotamia around 5000BCE, the production of lead increased sharply during the Greco-Roman period (peaking at around 80,000 tonnes per annum). Indeed, it was central to the Roman’s daily lives, and they used it extensively for everything from domestic water pipes and roofing to kitchen utensils and coinage – and even as a sweetener of wine (lead arsenate). The adverse health effects of long-term exposure to lead (impaired fertility and neurological damage), which disproportionately affected the Roman aristocracy and upper classes, have been linked to the end of empire” (Hughes, 1997, p 70).
Extraction of lead and smelting of other minerals posed a serious threat to the heath of individuals and workers. During various Roman mining operations, labors lost their loves because of the harmful emissions from the mines. Once these activities were started, more and more issues were polluting the air. Mining operations in Iberian Peninsula, Gaul, Greece and England left behind mounds of black slag that was further transformed in the landscape. Famous Greek geographer and Historian Strabo (c. 64BCE-c.23CE) mentioned about the toxic metallic emissions from the furnaces and how these chemicals were discharged in the air from the high chimneys and polluted the environment (Hughes, 2014). During 1578, Queen Elizabeth was also objected towards the mining operations in the country because seal-coal was impacting on the environment. She mentioned that smoke clouds are causing various lung dieses that will impact on the citizens. With the passage of time, smoke clouds in the city grew stronger and stronger every day when transformations were made from wood and charcoal for the fossil fuel consumption. Some influential figures protested about these emissions in the air. Exemplification in the publications by John Evelyn pamphlet mentioned about the protest against these clouds:
“… that Hellish and dismal Cloud of SEA-COAL …perpetually imminent over her head … mixed with the otherwise wholesome and excellent Aer, that her Inhabitants breathe nothing but an impure and thick Mist accompanied with a fuliginous and filthy vapour, which renders them obnoxious to a thousand inconveniences, corrupting the Lungs, and disordering the entire habits of their Bodies; so that Catharrs, Phthisicks, Coughs and Consumptions rage more in this one City than in the whole Earth besides” (Hughes, 1997, p. 110).
Claims about human activities enhancing ecological problems are true but citizens of Ancient Rome and Greek are not only responsible for creating these problems. Proper tools and equipments were not present at that time and people had no idea about the negative impacts of chemical emissions. During the industrial revolution, more and more people started to ruin the environment by starting industries in the urban areas of the world. These industries brought new opportunities for people and impacted positively on the economy of the country but they increased ecological problems. Air pollution increased with the passage of time and then cars and motor vehicles came out (Bauer, 200). Transportation equipments not only helped in providing benefit to humans but they also added 70% for polluting the environment by C02 emissions. In terms of scale and impact, effects of coal smoke started during 19th and 20th century after the Second World War. Invisible threats started to appear in the form of acid rain, ozone layer depletion and photochemical smog. All these threats were transnational and were global. All over the world these issues started to appear and new dieses of lungs and heart started to occur. At times, cooperation of the scientific experts was required for lowering down the impact on national borders. These scientists worked on tools for identifying environmental threats like the acid rain, etc. All of this started at the time of Romans and Greeks when they introduced coal and wood burnings. At that time impact was limited but with the passage of time, technological advancements and industrialization helped in bringing serious threats to the environment (Kubasek and Silverman, 2002).