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Zuzana Grujbárová

ACID RAIN
Acid rain can be any type of precipitation and we can observe it all
around the world. This kind precipitation has ph lower than 5.6, therefore
is called acid and it’s very dangerous for us and our environment.

Acid rain is very harmful for us and our environment because after
certain period of time it makes everything die eventually. It pollutes water,
which is unhealthy for animals as well as for humans. The level of acidity is
measured by pH (potential of hydrogen) which is a scale from 0-14, while
& is the natural amount. The acidity of the substance increases as the
level on the pH scale decreases. Very high acidity of water will be fatal for
all the organisms living in it and by it. If the acidity will reach 5.5 the
organisms that decompose all the other dead organisms in the sea, will die
and if the acidity reaches 4.5 all the other animals living in this
environment will die. Some lakes are able to lower their acidity however
most of them are not able to recover. Acid rains affect also forests. It
damages the protective layer on leaves and then it is able to get inside the
tree. Then water is not able to change into gas but the gas takes the
whole place of the water and the plant is not able to do photosynthesis
and it will die. Acidic precipitation also takes all the nutrients from soil and
leaves a lot of aluminum, which is harmful for trees. Acid rain releases also
many other toxic metals which kill the plants inside the forest. It kills fungi
and nitrogen-fixing bacteria which are needed because they destroy the
harmful bacteria in the forest. Without them plants are not able to grow.
Acid rain does not affect only forests and water but also humans. It causes
many lungs diseases because everything we eat, drink or touch had been
in contact with acid rain. Also the air that we breath had been polluted
already. These statistics from U.S and Canada say that acid rain causes
550 premature deaths, 1520 emergency room visits and 210 070 asthma
symptoms per year. Non living things like statues and buildings are also
being attacked and damaged by the acid rain. It destroys the materials
and the paint of the building and it speeds up its oxidation. A lot of the
buildings and statues are very old, unique and have great historic value.

Acidic precipitation is caused by releasing different chemicals like


Carbon dioxide, Carbon monoxide, Hazardous air pollutant, nitrogen
oxides, lead, sulfur dioxides, ozone, into the air. These chemicals are
produced by burning different compounds like coil, oil gasoline or wood or
they can be released for example from cars and different motor vehicles.
Most of the pollution is caused by cars. If we could cut on the production of
these chemicals acid rains would not be such a huge problem as they are
now. There are certain things that everyone of us can do in our everyday
lives to lower the pollution by acid rain. For example we should use our
cars less, maybe we could try to walk or use bicycles, we could take the
long trips with buses or trains, we could travel to work with our colleges,
we can try not to overflow the gas tank and travel at high speed only when
it’s really necessary. We also should save the electricity because it is
being produced by burning fuels which releases certain chemicals into the
air. To do that we should only run the washing machine and the
dishwasher when they are fully loaded, reduce the usage of air
conditioning, turn off the lights when we leave the room, lower the heat in
our houses when we are not going to be there, use florescent bulbs and
recycle.

As you can see, the acid precipitation affects everything. It hurts


everyone, people, animals and plants. The pollution that we created is
being evaporated and mixed with the clouds which then creates this really
toxic rains which cause destruction. IF we really try we can still do
something about it, but every single of us needs to be really careful with
his/her environment.

Sources

Wikipedia (2011) Acid rain http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acid_rain [ accessed


25th may, 2011]

EPA (2007) What is acid Rain? http://www.epa.gov/acidrain/what/


[accessed 25th may, 2011]

ThinkQuest (2002) Acid Rain


http://library.thinkquest.org/CR0215471/acid_rain.htm [accessed 25th may,
2011]

National Geographic (2011) Acid Rain


http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/acid-
rain-overview/ [accessed 25th may, 2011]