Ever wondered why people address a particular type of rain as ‘Acid Rain’?
Well, it is a kind of precipitation containing high levels of sulphuric and nitric acid.
Do not panic! You do not have to remain inside your home while this type of rainfall begins.
That is not the type of acid which instantly burns your skin. In fact, acid rain is not yet that harmful to human skin.
But as it is getting more and more acidic day by day, shortly you might need to save yourself from it.
During this rainfall, acid is thrown out from our atmosphere. Mostly, human activities are the reason behind gases going upwards in the cloud as steam and falling as acidic water.
13 Facts about Acid Rain
Acid Rain, the name itself sounds mysterious. There are lots of facts about acid rain that you might not know yet.
However, if you are interested to know those facts, congrats! Because, you are in the right place.
1. Wastage of Modern Industries is Its Primary Key
What if I tell you, our comfortable standard of living is one of the main reasons for acid rain to occur?
Mills and industries these days produce a lot of fossil fuels like coal and oil which are very harmful to our environment.
Nitric oxide and sulphur dioxide are being released into the atmosphere by various types of manufacturers.
These gases react with oxygen, water, and other substances and ending up producing sulphuric and nitric acid.
We are getting advanced devices, machines, cars, mechanical instruments that are produced in well-equipped industries. For the sake of producing, harmful gases are being released into the atmosphere.
When the sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are released into the air, they create a chemical reaction by mixing with water, oxygen and other chemicals.
This chemical reaction later on falls as acid rain on the earth’s surface.
2. There are More Acidic Precipitations
What if I tell you, acid rain is not the only type of precipitation formed with sulphuric and nitric acid? Seems strange, doesn’t it?
Well, likewise the acid rain, there are acid snow, acid fog, and acid dust that are pretty similar to acid rain in many ways.
Acid rain also forms in the same way how acid rain does. The difference is, when the rain falls from the atmosphere, the droplets pass through a cold or freezing area in the air.
Due to this cold area, it becomes ice crystals and falls as snow.
Now, what about its consequences? It damages the same way as acid rain. It just takes time until the snow melts.
Acid fog is another threatening precipitation. Surrounded with acidic mist, sounds very scary. It poses an additional health risk for us. Diseases like eye irritations cause due to this.
Similarly, acid dust consists of acidic dust particles. Storm with acid dust is very dangerous.
Respiratory diseases such as lung cancer and asthma develop in the human body if a person is highly exposed to acidic dust.
3. Acid Rain Can Travel A Long Distance
Imagine if you pay for someone else’s mistake that you are not even responsible for. Things are pretty similar to this when it is regarding the acid rain.
Here’s a true example;
The burning of fossil fuels and oil are released into the air from the United States, creating a chemical reaction up in the atmosphere.
Wind can blow these substances at great distances and make acid rain to fall on the land of Canada.
4. Volcanos and Lightning Strikes Contributes to Acid Rain
You will hardly find someone to whom the volcanos do not seem exciting to ponder upon. Acid rain has a relation to it too.
A volcano does not only contain ashes and lava. There are other elements too. The massive explosion of the volcanos produces gases that include sulphur dioxide and responsible for the chemical reaction in the atmosphere.
Lightning also contributes to acid rain. You probably know that one of the natural sources of producing nitric oxide is lightning strikes.
Nitric oxide created by lightning strikes rapidly reacts with oxygen in the atmosphere and fuels acid rain.
5. Acid Rain Will Not Burn Your Skin
Acid rain does not contain that much harmful acid which rots the skin. So, even though it sounds like burning, does not have anything significant to do with your skin.
But yes, if rapid pollution of the environment continues, in the future acid rain will cause severe damage to the human beings too.
6. The Air Can Also Cause You Disease
Even though acid rain does not rot human skin, but it adds to even higher than that. It causes diseases such as cancer, asthma, and heart disease.
The rainfall is not the concern here, the toxic air within the acid rain the responsible for it.
7. It Ruins the Car’s Paint Job
If you park your car under the open sky during acidic rainfall and come back after half an hour, you might see your car’s paint job damaged.
Do not freak out thinking that someone pooled a dangerous prank on you.
The acid that is in acid rain is not powerful enough to melt metal like an entire car. However, it can ruin your car’s paint job.
8. Acid Rain Can Kill an Entire Forest
Acid rain has pretty devastating impacts on the environment. It can cut off the light and nutrient supply for leaves on the trees.
Acid toxicants the soil and makes it impossible for the plants to take water from the soil. It also stops the growth of plants.
9. Lower pH Level Toxicants Natural Water Sources
pH is referred to as the power of hydrogen. pH level ranges zero to fourteen. Battery acid has the pH level of 0.1, being a very high acid. And lye has a pH level of 14, which is primary.
Acid rain has a pH level of 4.3; which does not sound okay.
Water has a perfectly balanced pH level of 7. The difference of 1 point is a huge matter here.
If acid rain falls in the water sources like lakes, rivers, and streams, it changes the pH level.
The changing of the pH makes the water toxic to fish and other aquatic life. An entire lake can be dead because of this.
10. Damages Building Paints and Marbles
With a pH level of 4.3, acid rain harms the environment. It can even destroy a marble stone building with such a crazy level of pH.
There are many examples of historical buildings hampered by acidic rains. One of such recent incident to quote is the Taj Mahal in India.
Several years back, the marble stone of Taj Mahal’s front dome was scorched by acid rain. You probably have seen it in the news.
11. It Can Imbalance The Whole Ecosystem
Acid rain makes soil toxic and does not let the trees to grow. Furthermore, leaves and fruits become victim to it as well.
These leaves and fruits are the food sources of birds and other insects. So, they will be a victim of acid rain too.
Likewise, if the lakes and rivers become toxic, fishes will die by taking toxic foods.
12. The Acid Can Be Neutralized
We can neutralize acid rain in the same way of neutralizing the acid. Lime can neutralize the acid.
If there is no lime in an area, acid rain can damage that area typically.
13. There Is A Way To Fight It
Still, there is a way to combat acid rain. For that, you need to be an environmentalist or act like one.
If we burn fewer fossil fuels and use alternative energy, use less electricity if there is no need for, and use public transport to reduce emissions, we can combat this threatening problem.
To conclude, acid rain is quite harmful for our environment, no doubt. If we do not start solving this issue with great caution, it will generate even more problem shortly.
We should not give a chance to things that trigger acid rain to form. Instead, we can switch to better alternatives to those which become fuel for acid rain.