This section is from the book "The Law Of Real Property and Other Interests In Land", by Herbert Thorn Dike Tiffany. Also available from Amazon: A Treatise on the Modern Law of Real Property and Other Interests in Land .
The owner of land has a "natural right" to have the air diffused over his premises in approximately its natural condition, free from pollution by smoke, dust, or vapors.16 or by disagreeable odors,17 and a violation of such right is a nuisance, entitling him to the recovery of damages, or an injunction against its continuance. Analogous to this right is that of a landowner to enjoy the use of and damage discoverable only by scientific tests is not sufficient for the purpose.26
552; Rideout v. Knox, 148 Mass, 368, 2 L. R. A. 81, 12 Am. St. Rep. 560, 19 N. E. 390. That the structure increased the value of the land on which it was erected has been regarded as showing a lack of malice. Jones v. Williams, 56 Wash. 588, 106 Pac. 166.
12. Brostrom . Lauppe, 179 Mass. 315, 60 N. E. 785.
13. Rideout v. Knox, 148 Mass. 368, 12 L. R. A. 81, 12 Am. St. Rep. 560, 19 N. E. 390; Horan v. Byrnes, 72 N. H. 93, 62 L. R. A. 602, 101 Am. St. Rep. 670, 54 Atl. 945.
14. Karasek v. Peier, 22 Wash. 419, 50 L. R. A. 345, 61 Pac. S3. See Harbison v. White, 46 Conn. 106.
15. Western Granite & Marble
Co. v. Knickerbocker, 103 Cal. Ill, 37 Pac. 192.
16. St. Helen's Smelting Co. v. Tipping, 11 H. L. Gas. 642; Sullivan v. Royer, 72 Cal. 248, 1 Am. St. Rep. 51, 13 Pac. 655; Whitney v. Bartholomew, 21 Conn. 213; Cooper v. Randell, 53 ill. 24; Hendrickson v. Standard Oil Co., 126 Md. 577, 95 Atl. 153; People v. Detroit White Lead Works, 82 Mich. 471, 9 L. R. A. 722, 46 N. W. 735; Smiths v. McConathy, 11 Mo. 517; Ross v. Butler, 19 N. J. Eq. 294, 97 Am. Dec. 654; Hutch-ins v. Smith. 63 Barb. (N. Y.) 252; Rhodes v. Dunbar, 57 Pa. St. 274: 98 Am. Dec. 221; E. W. Face & Son v. Cherry, 117 Va. 41, 84 S. E. 10.
17. Morley v. Pragnel, Cro. Car. 510; Rapier v. Tramways Co.
The exact limits of these rights are not defined by the cases with any considerable degree of exactitude, nor are they capable of exact definition, and the question of what constitutes a nuisance in this respect has to be determined with reference to the facts of the particular case.19 One cannot, of course, demand that the air be absolutely pure, since this would exclude all occupation or use of neighboring lands, and the courts, in administering the law, recognize that the benefit of the individual must in many cases yield to the conditions of life in crowded communities, and it is said that no use of property constitutes a nuisance if it is "reasonable," with reference to the rights of others.20 Accordingly, the courts usually consider the character of the particular neighborhood, and the ordinary mode of using property therein, in determining whether a particular use constitutes a nuisance.21 The fact, however,
 2 Ch. 588; Francis v. Schoellkopf, 53 N. Y. 152; Illinois Cent. R. Co. v. Grabill, 50 111. 241; Pennoyer v. Allen, 56 Wis. 502, 43 Am. Rep. 728; 2 Wood, Nuisances (3d Ed.) Sec. 561 et seq.
18. Crump v. Lambert, L. R. 3 Eq. 413; Sturges v. Bridgman, 11 Ch. Div. 852; Bishop v. Banks, 33 Conn. 118, 87 Am. Dec. 197; Hurlburt v. McKone, 55 Conn. 31, 3 Am. St. Rep. 1; Mitchell v. Flynn Dairy Co., 172 Iowa, 582, 151 N. W. 434: Barrett v. Vreeland, 168 Ky. 471. 182 S. W. 005; Ross v. Butler, 19 N. J. Eq. 294, 97 Am. Dec. 654; McKeon v. See, 51 N. Y. 300, 10 Am. Rep. 659; Kestner v. Hospital, 245 Pa. 326, 91 Atl. 659, 52 L. R. A. (N. S.) 1032. See cases cited in notes 17 L. R. A. (N. S.) 287, 44 Id. 236.
18a. Reinhardt v. entasti, 42 Ch. D. 685; Vaughan v. Bridg-ham, 193 Mass. 392, 79 S. E. 739; St. Louis Safe Deposit etc. Bank v. Kennett, 101 Mo. App. 370, 74 S. W. 474
19. See Pollock, Torts (6th Ed.) 392; 1 Wood, Nuisances, Sec.Sec. 496, 559.
20. Wood, Nuisances, Sec. 1, 2, 498.
21. St. Helen's Smelting Co. v. Tipping, 11 H. L. Cas. 642; Hurlburt v. McKone, 55 Conn. 31, 3
Am. St. Rep. 17, 10 Atl. 164;
Susquehanna Fertilizer Co. of that the business which causes an injurious pollution of the air is lawful, or even beneficial to the community as a whole, is no justification of the nuisance.22
Pollution of the air is not ground for complaint if it be merely disagreeable, but for this purpose it must seriously interfere with the ordinary enjoyment of life or comfort of existence,23 though it need not be actually injurious to health.24 A course of action resulting in material damage to the physical property, as when crops or grass are destroyed by the emission of noxious gases, clearly constitutes a nuisance.25 But a course of action lawful in itself, such as the carrying on of a business, does not constitute a nuisance, as regards neighboring property, unless the damage is substantial,
Baltimore v. Malone, 73 Md. 268, 9 L. R. A. 737, 25 Am. St. Rep. 595, 20 Atl. 900; Demarest v. Hardham, 34 N. J. Eq. 469; Campbell v. Seaman, 63 N. Y. 568, 20 Am. Rep. 567; McCaffrey's Appeal, 105 Pa. St. 253; Woods v. Rock Hill Fertilizer Co., 102 S. C. 442, Ann. Cas. 1917D, 1149, 86 S. E. 817; Clark v. Wambold, 165 Wis. 70, 160 N. W. 1039.
22. Bamford v. Turnley, 3 Best & S. 62, overruling Hole v. Barlow, 4 C. B. N. S. 334; St. Helen's Smelting Co. v Tipping, 11 H. L. Cas. 642; Baltimore & P. R. Co. v. First Baptist Church, 103 U. S. 317, 27 L. Ed. 379; Hurlburt v. McKone, 55 Conn. 31, 3 Am. St. Rep. 17, 10 Atl. 164; Susquehanna Fertilizer Co. of Baltimore v. Malone, 73 Md. 268, 9 L. R. A. 737, 25 Am. St. Rep. 595, 20 Atl. 900; Fay v. Whitman, 100 Mass. 76.
23. Walter v. Selfe, 4 De Gex. & S. 315; Salvin v. North Bran-cepeth Coal Co., 9 Ch. App. 705;
Soderburg v. Chicago St. P. M. & O. Ry. Co., 167 Iowa, 123, 149 N. W. 82; Wolcott v. Melick, 11 N. J. Eq. 204, 66 Am. Dec. 790; Columbus Gas Co. v. Freelande, 12 Ohio St. 392; Pollstown Gas Co. v. Murphy, 39 Pa. St. 257; Kirk-man v. Handy, 11 Humph. (Tenn.) 406, 54 Am. Dec. 45; Wood, Nuisances, Sec.Sec. 7, 562; Bigelow, Torts (7th Ed.) Sec. 627.
24. Crump v. Lambert, L. R. 3 Eq. 409; Bohan v. Port Jervis
Gaslight Co., 122 N. Y. 18; Catlin v. Valentine, 9 Paige (N. Y.) 575, 38 Am. Dec. 567; Ross v. Butler, 19 N. J. Eq. 294, 97 Am. Dec. 654; Pollock, Torts (6th Ed.) 392.
25. St. Helen's Smelting Co. v. Tipping, 11 H. L. Cas. 642; People v. Detroit Lead Works, 82 Mich. 471; Campbell v. Seaman, 63 N. Y. 568, 20 Am. Rep. 567; Ross v. Butler, 19 N. J. Eq. 294. 97 Am. Dec. 654; Robb v. Carnegie, 145 Pa. St. 324, 27 Am. St.
The fact that, when the objectionable use of the neighboring land commenced, the person complaining was not in the occupation of land in the vicinity, docs not justify the continuance of the use as against him when subsequently in such occupation. That is, he is not without remedy because he "came to" the nuisance.27
An action will, it seems, lie on account of the pollution of air by the use made of neighboring land, although, owing to the fact that the plaintiff is not actually occupying the land, he does not suffer actual damage therefrom, it being sufficient that his right to have the air reasonably free from pollution has been invaded.28 The contrary view, which appears to oh-tain in England,28a involves the assumption that one has no natural right to have the air come to his land free from pollution, hut merely a right to occupy the land, by himself or another, free from unreasonable annoyance by reason of such pollution. Such a view does not appear to accord wth the decisions in regard
Rep. 694; 1 Wood, Nuisances, Sec.Sec. 536, 545.
26. Salvin v. Brancepeth Coal Co., 9 Ch. App. 705; Downing v. Elliott, 182 Mass. 28, 64 N. E. 201; Campbell v. Seaman, 63 N. Y. 568, 577, 20 Am. Rep. 567; 1
Wood, Nuisances, Sec. 539 et seq.
27. Bliss v. Hall, 4 Bing. (N. C.) 183; Sturges v. Bridgman, 11 Ch. Div. 852; Hurlburt v. Mc-Kone, 55 Conn. 31, 3 Am. St. Rep. 17; Barrett v. Vreeland, 168 Ky. 471, 182 S. W. 605; Boston Ferrule Co. v. Hills, 159 Mass. 147, 20 L. R. A. 844, 34 N. E. 85; Bur-dick, Torts, 406; Wood, Nuisances, Sec.Sec. 76, 802.
28. Dana v. Valentine, 5 Metc. (Mass.) 8. See Farley v. Gate City Gas Light Co., 105 Ga. 323.
28a. There it has been decided that no right of action accrues on account of noise until the plaintiff has made such use of his land that the noise is an annoyance to him. Sturges v. Bridgman, 11 Ch. Div. 852. A different view might, however, be taken even there, if he claimed the right to make the noise. Roberts v. Gwyrfai District Council (1899), 1 Ch. D. 583. See editorial note in 13 Harv. Law Rev. at p. 142.
[Sec. 339 to the analogous case of a natural watercourse, that a lower proprietor has a right of action on account of pollution independently of whether he suffers damage thereby.28b
- Passage of air. An owner of land has no right to the passage of air to his land, as against the right of the owners of adjacent land to obstruct such passage by buildings, or other erections.29 A right to have air pass to a particular window or aperture may, however, be acquired by grant from the adjoining owner, the effect thereof being to deprive the latter of the right to obstruct such window by any erection on his land30