The effects of air pollutants on plants are dependent on and modified by climatic, orographic, edaphic, and biotic factors; the synergism of pollutants; and differences in the sensitivity of individual plants and species. Sulfur dioxide and fluorine are the most dangerous pollutants for plants, but ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, nitrogen oxides, nitric acid, chlorine, hydrochloric acid, bromine, iodine, hydrocyanic acid, ethylene, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, mercaptans, asphalt and tar vapors, mercury, and selenium can also inflict damage. Young leaves, sensitive to H/sub 2/S, nitrogen oxides, Cl, HCl, HCN, mercaptans, Hg, and sulfuric acid, are more resistant to SO/sub 2/, gaseous F compounds, ethylene, and selenium than older leaves. Damage is most serious when pollutants enter leaves simultaneously or alternately through epidermis and stomata. The yellow-to-brown coloration of leaves is usually a result of the precipitation of tanning. Plasmolysis is caused by SO/sub 2/, gaseous F compounds, ammonia, nitrogen oxides, HNO/sub 3/, Br, asphalt and tar vapors, while photosynthesis is stimulated by traces of ammonia, HNO/sub 3/, and saturated hydrocarbons. Increased transpiration due to SO/sub 2/ and HCl and elevated permeability and osmosis due to SO/sub 2/ were observed. 9 references, 12 figures, 1 table.