Environmental Health: Acid Rain

Read this article to learn about effects of Acid Rain

What Acid Rain

Sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) are the principal pollutants that cause acid precipitation. SO2 and NOx emissions released to the air react with water vapor and other chemicals to form acids that fall back to Earth. Power plants burning coal and heavy oil produce over two-thirds of the annual SO2 emissions in the United States. The majority of NOx (about 50 percent) comes from cars, buses, trucks, and other forms of transportation. About 40 percent of NOx emissions are from power plants. The rest is emitted from various sources like industrial and commercial boilers.


Citation- http://www.epa.gov/airquality/peg_caa/acidrain.html

What are the effects and how it is formed

You have probably heard of "acid rain." But you may not have heard of other forms of acid precipitation such as acid snow, acid fog or mist, or dry forms of acidic pollution such as acid gas and acid dust. All of these can be formed in the atmosphere and fall to Earth causing human health problems, hazy skies, environmental problems and property damage. Acid precipitation is produced when certain types of air pollutants mix with the moisture in the air to form an acid. These acids then fall to Earth as rain, snow, or fog. Even when the weather is dry, acid pollutants may fall to Earth in gases or particles.


Citation- http://www.epa.gov/airquality/peg_caa/acidrain.html

How to prevent it

To solve the acid rain problem, people need to understand how acid rain damages the environment. They also need to understand what changes could be made to the air pollution sources that cause the problem. The answers to these questions help leaders make better decisions about how to control air pollution and therefore, how to reduce—or even eliminate—acid rain. Because there are many solutions to the acid rain problem, leaders have a choice of which options or combination of options are best.


For Example, we could use solar energy, rather than burning coal in factory's, which creates lots of air pollution, chemical runoff, etc.


Citation- http://www.epa.gov/acidrain/reducing/