The growing effect of industrialization causes harm to the natural environment. The biggest environmental problem is pollution. Plants, factories, power stations, transport, domestic appliances, etc. release various harmful substances and elements that pollute the atmosphere, water and soil. Very often, one can observe the synthesis of different types of pollution.
Acid rain is one of them. This problem is becoming more and more dangerous and widespread. More and more places suffer from acid rains and their impact. Industrial countries lose much money to cope with the consequences of acid rains and the reduction of their quantity. Everyone has heard about acid rains but very few people know about their origin and nature. They do not understand why acid rains are dangerous and how they can be prevented. An average person knows that acid rains are harmful for animals, people and infrastructure but they cannot explain this phenomenon from the scientific point of view.
It is quite simple to explain the cause and effect of acid rains. This phenomenon is caused by the extensive human activity that is characterized with the production of the huge amounts of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide by industry, transport and domestic appliances. Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide get into the atmosphere and interact with the gases and other elements that can be found there. The problem occurs when these emissions react with the water molecules and produce various acids. In this case, there is acid in precipitation. These acid rains are very harmful for the environment. They damage animals, plants, water animals and buildings. In fact, acid rains occur not just because of human activity. Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide are produced in the natural way. Lightning strikes and volcanic eruptions are the major natural producers of the mentioned elements.
Why are acid rains dangerous for the economy? They damage our infrastructure. Different scientists noticed the negative effect of acid rains two centuries ago. These rains damage buildings, monuments, statues, metal items, transport, wires, etc. Doubtless, the local government has to spend much money to renovate roofs, public transport and monuments after the ruining effect of acid rains. I dare say that this problem is paramount for the historic monuments. The brightest examples of ancient architecture and sculpture are destroyed by acid; therefore, it is vital to take efforts to protect them with covers or shelters. Thus, you can often see the covered statues on the ancient cathedrals or public buildings. Under the impact of several acid rains, a sophisticated statue can turn into a piece of stone.
Acid rains are disastrous for water animals. The low pH is extremely harmful for fish and mammals that live in rivers and lakes. Acid rains make the water impossible for living for numerous species of animals. No wonder, it is possible to see a lot of dead fish after the heavy acid rain. If the rains are constant, the biodiversity of the specific lake or river is solidly reduced. However, it is hard to claim that this phenomenon is dangerous for people and non-water animals. Acid does not cause harm to human skin or hair. On the other hand, the big amount of acidic matters can cause cardiovascular and respiratory problems. People can fall ill with bronchitis or asthma.
It is impossible to omit the problem of the ruining influence of acid rains on vegetation. Forests are severely damaged by the acidic precipitation. It is newsworthy that fog and clouds are more acidic than rain; therefore, foggy and humid forests are always damaged intensively. It is important to say about the negative effect of acid rains on soil and underground water. Acids reduce the fertilizing power of soil making it salty and useless for agriculture. Then, acid rainwater reduces the quality of fresh drinking underground water. Because of the constant acid rains in some areas, people cannot drink water from wells and streams.
How can we defeat the problem of acid rains? The solution is easy in theory but difficult on practice. Many countries have already embodied the policy of the gradual reduction of production of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. However, many corporations neglect these rules and continue polluting the atmosphere. The situation is even more tragic in the developing industrial countries where the problem of air pollution is dramatic. Thus, the only way out is to unite our efforts and avoid polluting the atmosphere. Clean air is the best remedy for acidic precipitation.
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