acid rain

Topics: Acid rain, Sulfur dioxide, Sulfuric acid Pages: 10 (3681 words) Published: November 2, 2014

Abstract: Acid rain affects each and every components of ecosystem. Acid rain also damages man-made materials and structures Acid rain is one of the most serious environmental problems emerged due to air pollution Sulphur dioxide (SO2) and oxides of nitrogen and ozone to some extent are the primary causes of acid rain. These pollutants originate from human activities such as combustion of burnable waste, fossil fuels in thermal power plants and automobiles. These constituents interact with reactants present in the atmosphere and result into acid deposition Due to the interaction of these acids with other constituents of the atmosphere, protons are released causing increase in the soil acidity, lowering of soil pH mobilizes and leaches away nutrient cations and increases availability of toxic heavy metals. Such changes in the soil chemical characteristics reduce the soil fertility, which ultimately causes the negative impact on growth and productivity of forest trees and crop plants. Acid rain has also been reported in India. A rainfall of pH 3.5 was reported in Mumbai. The air pollution levels are steadily rising in the metropolitan cities like Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai. Acid rain problem in Bihar, West Bengal, Orissa and southern coastal India has been predicted to lead to infertile soil. Acid rain makes the water bodies acidic. The amphibians are also affected by acidification of water bodies .At low pH, many species of amphibians including frogs, toads and salamander are particularly sensitive. Indirect effect of acid rain on human health involves toxic heavy metals because these are liberated from soil when soil gets acidified. The most common heavy metals are Al, Cd, Zn, Pb, Hg, Mn and Fe. These mobilized contaminants are dissolved in soil and water make their way to groundwater that is drunk by humans and contaminate the food (Fish, meat, and vegetables) eaten by humans .These heavy metals get accumulated in the body and resulted into various health problems like dry coughs, asthma, headache, eye, nose and throat irritations. Acid rain problem has been tackled to some extent in the developed world by reducing the emission of the gases causing acid rain.

Key words: Acid rain, Causes, Effects, Control, pollutants, Sulphur dioxide. I. Introduction
The term "acid rain" was coined in 1872 by Robert Angus Smith.[1] Though acidic rain was discovered in 1853, it was not until the late 1960s that scientists began widely observing and studying the phenomenon.[2]"Acid rain" is term referring to a mixture of deposited material from the atmosphere containing higher than normal amounts of nitric and sulfuric acids. Any form of precipitation which is acidic in nature is called acid rain. The major human sources do come from the industry, transportation, and a variety of power plants. Strictly speaking these industrial amounts of nitrogen, sulfur oxides and general pollutants from the air cause a drastic increase of the acidity of the precipitation and do also harm plants, humans, and infrastructure. The precursors, or chemical forerunners, of acid rain formation result from both natural sources, such as volcanoes and decaying vegetation, and man-made sources, primarily emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) resulting from fossil fuel combustion. SO2 and NOx come from electric power generation that relies on burning fossil fuels, like coal. 17th century by John Evelyn, who remarked upon the poor condition of the Arundel marbles.[3] Since the Industrial Revolution, emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere have increased.[4][5]

In 1852, Robert Angus Smith was the first to show the
relationship between acid rain and atmospheric pollution in Manchester, England. [6] Canadian Harold Harvey
was among the first to research a "dead" lake. Public awareness of acid rain in the U.S increased in the 1970s after The New York Times published reports from the...
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