An overview of issues with environmental relevance that arise from the interaction between pollutants and surfaces of the built environment is presented in this paper. Two broad perspectives are considered: decay of materials and recording of pollution characteristics. In relation to the former, we consider the possible implications on human activities restrictions, materials and morphological options, consumption of resources and release of pollutants resulting from the alteration of materials, conservation and restoration procedures. In terms of pollution recording, the interest of the stony materials as passive monitors of pollution, the question of heterogeneous conditions on buildings and the interest of qualitative and quantitative studies are highlighted. The importance of longitudinal studies on new and cleaned surfaces is considered, both for the understanding of materials decay and for the assessment of pollution conditions. The use of tracers to record the characteristics of pollution sources, interaction with materials and pathways of pollutants is also discussed. Finally, some recommendations are presented, based on the issues discussed on this paper that might be relevant for environmental management programs, including environmental education.