Soot is produced by inefficient combustion. Its most obvious effect is on the cleanliness of buildings. As an efficient absorbant of solar radiation it contributes significantly to the deterioration in atmospheric radiation balance.
Soot has contributed significantly to pollution of the Arctic atmosphere in the spring season, which is expected to deteriorate further with the industrialization of the USSR. According to a 1993 EPA report, between 50,000-60,000 annual US deaths are caused by particle pollution, most of whose victims are children with respiratory problems, asthma sufferers, and elderly people with illnesses such as bronchitis, emphysema and pneumonia.