What Is Acid Rain | Acid Rain Definition
What Is Acid Rain
Acid rain is a type of precipitation that is characterized by the containment of pollutants, such as sulfuric acid and nitrogenous acid, that have harmful effects on the environment.
The main characteristic of acid rain is its pH level, which varies between 5 and 3, i.e. lower than normal rainfall, which is found at 5.65. This is due to the presence of acids formed from sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides.
Acid Rain Definition
Acid rain raindrops (which, however, can also be in the form of snow or hail) are rich in acid particles and molecules that are usually found in the atmosphere but are deposited on the ground as a result of this phenomenon. In acid rain we find mainly sulfuric acid (70%) and nitrogen oxides (30%).
These compounds make the pH of water less than 5 and for this reason rain can be defined as acidic. Under normal conditions, however, the pH of rain is between 5 and 6.5 because it is composed exclusively of water and atmospheric dust.
Due To Acid Rain
Air pollutants are those that produce acid rain. Although both the decaying vegetation layer and erupting volcanoes can release some chemicals that promote the formation of acid rain, (Acid Rain Prevention) the main cause of the release of toxic substances into the atmosphere is associated with the human factor and its industrial activity.
In this sense, the combustion of fossil fuels, such as coal or oil, in industry and in various human activities (factories, power plants, heating boilers, cars) releases sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere.
However, where its effect is most harmful is in water, as it increases the acidity in rivers, lakes, lagoons, streams, swamps, etc., affecting the life of many aquatic organisms, which in turn leads to a state of. environmental imbalance.
Acid rain most important things at a glance
- Acid rain refers to rain that has a pH value below 5.5.
- It is caused by chemical reactions in which either nitrogen oxides or sulfur oxides combine with water in the air to produce sulfuric or nitric acid.
- This acid rain has negative effects on plants, water bodies and buildings and can lead to the death of forests or the loss of species in water bodies, as the acids change the food composition for animals and plants.
What are the consequences of acid rain?
Acid rain and their progressive intensity have disastrous consequences not only for our health but also for the survival of the ecosystem.
1. Harm To Human Health
Acid rain affects and increases the toxicity level of foods grown. This has a serious impact on our health, which can manifest with circulatory diseases, respiratory problems, as well as cancer, especially in the lungs.
2. Environmental Damage
Naturally, the natural environment is also exposed to a higher risk due to the intensity of acid rain. It actually affects the growth and fertility of plants, significantly reducing them. Many forests are at risk of destruction and the entry of water with such a low pH value into the subsoil pollutes the aquifer.
Soil acidification causes great damage as it significantly reduces the availability of nutrients. This obviously has disastrous consequences on crops and spontaneous vegetation. Vegetables weakened by nutrient deficiencies are more prone to disease and pest attack.
Acid Rain Prevention
Fighting the occurrence of acid rain involves adopting a series of measures aimed at reducing emissions into the atmosphere of the pollutants that generate them. Some of the measures that would contribute to this would be.
Use of alternative energy sources Encouraging the use of natural gas Encouraging the use of public transportation at the expense of private car transportation Implementation and expansion of electric transportation systems Setting industry standards to reduce pollutant emissions Sulfur levels in fuels to reduce Save energy at home and at work.
However, the responsibility of establishing controls and enforcing rules rests primarily with governments and industry.
[What Is Acid Rain | Acid Rain Definition]