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Emission means to give something out.

Thus in chemistry emissions are the products of a reaction, either chemical or nuclear.

In physics and physical chemistry emissions are outputs of electromagnetic radiation or particles.

In common usage emission often refers to the giving off of gasses from industrial processes of factories. As they occur on an industrial scale, even relatively harmless gasses can have an undesired effect (such as carbon dioxide being a contributor to the greenhouse effect).

See also:

emission trading