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Litigation over the “total” or “absolute” pollution exclusion has grown over the past several years. The exclusion typically precludes coverage for any claims resulting from “actual or threatened discharge, dispersal or release of any Pollutant.” “Pollutant” is often defined as any type of “irritant or contaminant,” including, among other things, smoke, soot, fumes, vapors and chemicals. Despite the seemingly straightforward language of the exclusion, courts are divided over its application.

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