Monday, November 14, 2016

Chemtrails Or Acid Rain ?

Chemtrails or Acid Rain ? - The Birth Of Two Myths

The idea that acid rain is some sort of hoax or scam is ludicrous. Sulfuric acid and its environmental effects have been known since ancient historical times. If acid rain is a hoax, then the ancient Sumerians and Greeks were certainly in on it. Modern science has been accumulating facts about environmental damage caused by sulfuric acid since at least 1736, when sulfuric acid was first produced industrially in Britain. When deniers of anthropogenic global warming claim that acid rain is a hoax they demonstrate, not their knowledge of science, but their political preferences, as here for example.

The chemtrail nonsense is an idea put forward by people who would rather believe a conspiracy theory than the physical laws of the universe.  Apparently, some mysterious "they" are putting chemicals in aircraft fuel for nefarious purposes.  The less extreme theories suggest that "they" are using HAARP to turn the atmosphere into a plasma, and as proof just look at the pretty colors in the clouds. Perhaps these people live in the perpetual haze of cities and have thus never seen rainbows in clouds.

If a plane is 'pumping out chemicals', other than the normal by-products of clean combustion, then maybe one or more engines need attention.  What is more likely, however is that "they" are testing new fuels and new engines.  If "they" want to dose the world at large with mind-altering substances they can sell it on street-corners for profit, rather than bribe tens of thousands of people to look the other way while the proverbial man in black puts something in a fuel tank.

A brief history of the science and politics of acid rain.

There are some people who want you to think that acid rain is a hoax.  In their eagerness to "prove" their "theory" ( aka something they just made up ) they generally start talking about how the hoax began in the 1970s or late 1960s.  Certainly the term acid rain came into wide use in the 1970s, but the fact of acid rain was known much earlier.  When coal is burned, one of the many byproducts of combustion is sulfur dioxide.  This combines with atmospheric moisture to form sulfurous acid.  That acid, if it combines with water, turns into sulfuric acid.  That's the same acid - but much more dilute - which you get in the lead-acid battery.

As an aside I might mention that one of many methods for determining the environmental effects of airborne acid employed a measuring device which utilized the same reaction that damages lead-acid batteries: sulfation.  The degree of sulfation of a lead(IV)oxide surface exposed to air for a month is a measure of the corrosive effects of that air.  That proxy method was used in the 1930s to measure the effects of coal smoke in Britain.

How can sulfur trioxide and sulfuric acid affect my health?

To protect the public from the harmful effects of toxic chemicals and to find ways to treat people who have been harmed, scientists use many tests.
One way to see if a chemical will hurt people is to learn how the chemical is absorbed, used, and released by the body; for some chemicals, animal testing may be necessary. Animal testing may also be used to identify health effects such as cancer or birth defects. Without laboratory animals, scientists would lose a basic method to get information needed to make wise decisions to protect public health. Scientists have the responsibility to treat research animals with care and compassion. Laws today protect the welfare of research animals, and scientists must comply with strict animal care guidelines.

Sulfuric acid and other acids are very corrosive and irritating and cause direct local effects on the skin, eyes, and respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts when there is direct exposure to sufficient concentrations. Breathing sulfuric acid mists can result in tooth erosion and respiratory tract irritation. Drinking concentrated sulfuric acid can burn your mouth and throat, and it can erode a hole in your stomach; it has also resulted in death. If you touch sulfuric acid, it will burn your skin. If you get sulfuric acid in your eyes, it will burn your eyes and cause them to water. The term "burn" used in these sections refers to a chemical burn, not a physical burn resulting from contacting a hot object. People have been blinded by sulfuric acid when it was thrown in their faces.

Breathing small droplets of sulfuric acid at levels that might be in the air on a day with high air pollution may make it more difficult to breathe. This effect is more likely to occur if you have been exercising or if you have asthma. This effect may also be more likely to occur in children than adults. Breathing sulfuric acid droplets may affect the ability of your respiratory tract to remove other small particles that you have inhaled. If you breathe sulfur trioxide, it turns into sulfuric acid in your upper respiratory tract, and the effects you may experience will be similar to those of sulfuric acid inhalation.

Studies in people who breathed high concentrations of sulfuric acid at work have shown an increase in cancers of the larynx. However, most of the cancers were in smokers who were also exposed to other acids and other chemicals. There is no information that exposure to sulfuric acid by itself is carcinogenic. The carcinogenicity of sulfuric acid has not been studied in animals. The EPA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) have not classified sulfur trioxide or sulfuric acid for carcinogenic effects. Based on very limited human data, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) believes that evidence is sufficient to state that occupational exposure to strong inorganic acid mists containing sulfuric acid is carcinogenic to humans. IARC has not classified pure sulfuric acid for its carcinogenic effects. 

How can sulfur trioxide and sulfuric acid affect children?

This section discusses potential health effects from exposures during the period from conception to maturity at 18 years of age in humans. Potential effects on children resulting from exposures of the parents are also considered.

Children may be exposed to sulfur trioxide and sulfuric acid in the same manner as adults, with the exception of chemical encounters in the workplace. Sulfur trioxide is only used in industry as an intermediate in the production of chemicals such as sulfuric acid and quickly converts to sulfuric acid when it contacts water in air. Therefore, children will most likely only be at risk of exposure from sulfuric acid, not sulfur trioxide. Exposure to sulfuric acid may occur through skin contact, eye contact, ingestion, and breathing contaminated air. Sulfuric acid can cause severe skin burns, it can burn the eyes, burn holes in the stomach if swallowed, irritate the nose and throat, and cause difficulties breathing if inhaled.

Exposure to sulfuric acid from accidental contact with or misuse of sulfuric acid-containing consumer products is the most likely way your child could be exposed. Household products that contain sulfuric acid include drain and toilet bowl cleaners, and some acid car batteries. The national estimate (derived by United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, USCPSC) for injuries related to drain cleaners over a 5-year period ending January 1996 is between 2,800 and 3,150 injuries per year. Inquisitive toddlers may get into unsealed or improperly stored containers of sulfuric acid-containing products. Transfer of cleaning agents containing sulfuric acid into containers not designed for their storage can allow leakage from the container. Improper flushing of areas recently cleaned with a sulfuric acid-containing product can lead to inadvertent skin exposure to both children and adults.

While younger children are most at risk from accidental swallowing, skin contact, or eye contact with sulfuric acid in household products, teenagers might have jobs in which they may contact sulfuric acid. If teenagers must use acid cleaners in their jobs or work in car repair where they may contact car batteries, they might be exposed. Furthermore, there have been reports of older children using sulfuric acid-containing solutions as weapons, thereby causing severe skin damage when intentionally splashed on others.

Small droplets of sulfuric acid may exist in the outdoor air. You and your children have the greatest chances of inhaling the compound during times of high air pollution with sulfuric acid. This may lead to difficulty breathing. If you live near electrical, metal processing, or paper processing industries, you may also have a greater chance of exposure to sulfuric acid. When sulfuric acid is inhaled into the lungs in the form of small droplets that exist in air, these droplets are deposited within the lung and the ability of your respiratory tract to remove other small, unwanted particles may be decreased. A study has shown that children can have greater deposition of sulfuric acid in their lungs than adults due to children's smaller airway diameters. Also, because children breathe more air per kilogram of body weight than adults, children may take in more sulfuric acid when they breathe the same contaminated air. Increased sensitivity has been witnessed in both animal studies with young guinea pigs and in human studies of asthmatic adolescents. This evidence suggests that children may be more vulnerable than adults to the health effects associated with breathing sulfuric acid.

No studies examining effects on unborn children following a mother's exposure to sulfuric acid during pregnancy were identified in humans. Limited evidence in animals indicates that sulfuric acid is not a hazard to unborn children. Birth defects have not been observed in animals that breathed high levels of sulfuric acid mist. Exposing pregnant rabbits to sulfuric acid did not significantly affect the body weights or cause malformations in their offspring. Again, because sulfuric acid causes adverse effects at its point of contact with the body, the acid, as such, is not expected to be absorbed or distributed throughout the body. Sulfuric acid is not expected to be transported across a mother's placenta into her developing baby or into breast milk. Therefore, an exposed mother most likely will not threaten her unborn or nursing child. Since sulfuric acid's effects occur at the point of contact, it is not likely that it will reach a mother's egg or father's sperm. Therefore, parents exposure to sulfuric acid or sulfur trioxide should not affect their unborn children.