Cause and Effect-Acid Rain

Essay by ae_girl17College, UndergraduateA, December 2003

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Acid Rain is a form of air pollution. This is a widespread problem in the United States, Canada, and Western Europe. Once acid rain is in the air there is little we can do. If everyone works together we can eliminate some of the common everyday productions of Acid Rain.

Acid rain leaches nutrients from soils, slows tree growth, and makes lakes uninhabitable for fish and other wildlife.

In the cities, acid pollutants corrode almost everything they touch. Acid rain also comes with other chemicals to form smog. Smog attacks the lungs and causes illnesses.

An indirect effect of acid rain involving humans is that the toxic metals dissolved in the water are absorbed in fruits, vegetables and in the tissues of animals. Although these toxic metals do not directly affect the animals, they have serious effects on humans when they are being consumed. For example, mercury that accumulates in the organs and tissues of the animals has been linked with brain damage in children as well as nerve disorders, brain damage and death.

Similarly, another metal, Aluminium, present in the organs of the animals, has been associated with kidney problems and recently, was suspected to be related to Alzheimer's disease.

One problem is that airborne acids that come from electric utility plants fall to earth causing widespread damage. These are the electric plants that produce our energy for lights and power. The problem begins with the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, natural gas, and oil. This creates sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, which interact with water and other chemicals in the air to form sulfuric acid, nitric acid and other pollutants. These chemicals travel in the air and come down to earth with rain and snow.

To be acidic, the pH levels have to be below...