Pollution began to draw major public attention in the United States between the mid-1950s and early 1970s, when Congress passed the Noise Control Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act.
Severe incidents of pollution helped increase consciousness.
As historian Martin Melosi notes, The generation that first saw automobiles replacing the horses saw cars as "miracles of cleanliness.".
Other cities followed around the country until early in the 20th century, when the short lived Office of Air Pollution was created under the Department of the Interior.
Visitors, especially women, often became desperate when nature called.
In the public buildings the sanitary facilities were unbelievably primitive....Lake Karachay – named by the Worldwatch Institute as the "most polluted spot" on earth – served as a disposal site for the Soviet Union throughout the 1950s and 1960s.Chelyabinsk, Russia, is considered the "Most polluted place on the planet".Major forms of pollution include: Air pollution, light pollution, littering, noise pollution, plastic pollution, soil contamination, radioactive contamination, thermal pollution, visual pollution, water pollution.Air pollution has always accompanied civilizations. Pollution started from prehistoric times, when man created the first fires.Though extreme care is practiced in that industry, the potential for disaster suggested by incidents such as those at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl pose a lingering specter of public mistrust.Worldwide publicity has been intense on those disasters.King Edward I of England banned the burning of sea-coal by proclamation in London in 1272, after its smoke became a problem; the fuel was so common in England that this earliest of names for it was acquired because it could be carted away from some shores by the wheelbarrow.It was the industrial revolution that gave birth to environmental pollution as we know it today.Chicago and Cincinnati were the first two American cities to enact laws ensuring cleaner air in 1881.Pollution became a major issue in the United States in the early twentieth century, as progressive reformers took issue with air pollution caused by coal burning, water pollution caused by bad sanitation, and street pollution caused by the 3 million horses who worked in American cities in 1900, generating large quantities of urine and manure.