Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Is Acid Rain Really Something To Worry About?

More and more people are becoming concerned about acid rain and its effect on people and our environment. There are many factors to consider when deciding if acid rain is an issue for you.

What Is Acid Rain?

Precipitation that has high levels of sulfuric acid and nitric acid is considered to be acid rain. It could be rain, snow, sleet, hail or even fog and mist. The acids can occur naturally or by way of mankind. Volcanoes and decomposing plant life emit acids that go into the atmosphere. Emissions from burning fossil fuels also release acids into the environment.

Once released, the acids are carried through the air. They can reach the ground either through wet precipitation or just by the particles landing on the soil. Eventually, the soil absorbs the nitric acid and sulfuric acid. It can also land in the water hence contaminating it.

Is It Really Harmful?
There isn’t really a whole lot known about the effects of acid rain. We do know that it definitely contaminates our waterways therefore, threatens marine life. This directly affects fishermen who make a living from the water and impacts our ability to consume healthy seafood.
Acid rain also harms trees and plants. The acid coats the trees leaves and can burn them causing irreversible damage. Plants are robbed of proper soil because of the acidity level. This is rarely a problem for the average person’s victory garden as most gardeners fertilize their soil prior to planting their vegetables. Most cultivated plants are hardy enough to withstand acid rain.

Getting caught in acid rain won’t harm you at all. Many people believe that it can burn their skin but it really can’t do that. In fact, you could fill a swimming pool with water from acid rain and swim in it all summer without any trouble. It is only the dry particles that can harm you. They enter your lungs and can cause respiratory illnesses and exacerbate existing asthma problems.

Buildings, structures and objects made out of marble, granite or copper can be compromised by acid rain. Acid rain corrodes them and can cause them to erode faster than originally predicted. This cannot only cause us to lose some of our most beloved landmarks but cost us millions of dollars in reconstruction expenses.

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