Why You Should Be Concerned About Acid Rain

The main cause of acid rain (AR) is sulfur and nitrogen compounds from human activity, like electricity generation, factories, and motor vehicles.

Coal power plants are amoung the most polluting. These gases can be carried hundreds of kilometres into the atmosphere before they are converted to acids and deposited via the next rainfall.

Factories used to have short stacks to let out smoke, but this method of dispersal caused many problems in local communities; so factories now have taller smoke stacks. However, dispersal from these taller stacks causes pollutants to be carried farther away (not in my backyard), causing widespread ecological damage.

Livestock production also plays a major role. It is responsible for large amounts of ammonia produced through human activities, which contributes significantly to (AR).

The EPA characterizes (AR) as follows: (AR) is a serious environmental problem that affects large parts of the United States and Canada. (AR) is particularly damaging to lakes, streams, and forests and the plants and animals that live in these ecosystems.

The effects on Human health - The pollutants that cause (AR) "i.e. sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) " — do damage human health. These gases interact in the atmosphere to form fine sulfate and nitrate particles that can be transported long distances by winds and subsequently inhaled deep into people's lungs.

Fine particles can also find their way indoors. Many scientific studies have identified a relationship between elevated levels of fine particles and increased illness and premature death from heart and lung disorders, such as asthma and bronchitis.

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