Tuesday, May 30, 2023

What is acid rain, how is it produced and why is it so dangerous?

The rainy season, today more than before, is expected, with droughts, loss of crops and livestock, and forest fires, resulting in high temperatures. In recent years, a decrease in the amount of rainfall has been observed, so the aquifers have not returned to their capacity. But today we will talk about one of the dangers of acid rain precipitation.

What is and what causes acid rain?

Acid rain is produced by air pollution, when the gases from burning fuel react with oxygen in the air and water vapor and are transformed into acids that carry the vital liquid and fall to the surface.

To receive the name acid rain, the precipitation must give concentrations of sulfuric and nitric acid, this makes the pH, which is usually 5.6, go to one between 4.2 and 4.4.

One of the natural phenomena that causes acid rain is volcanic activity that releases chemicals into the atmosphere, but the biggest cause of the most serious problem is human activities, since a large amount of pollutants are thrown into the atmosphere every day.

Among the pollutants of greatest concern and generators of acid rain are perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS).

PFAS includes a family of fluorinated chemical products that are used in various products for daily use, this type of compound is known as “eternal” because its chemical composition does not easily degrade in the environment.

Research published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology reports that the amount of PFAS in rainwater tested exceeds the lifetime drinking water health warning levels from the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the United States. it means that this source of water is no longer safe, even in the most remote places on Earth, such as Antarctica.

One of the activities that generate the majority of the pollutants that contribute to acid rain is the burning of fossil fuels. During fuel combustion, sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) are released into the atmosphere.

Why is acid rain harmful?

Once these chemicals are in the atmosphere, they undergo various reactions with water, oxygen, and other substances, and through these reactions solutions of nitric and sulfuric acids are formed. Then the wind forms substances and falls with the precipitation to release them, these substances adhere to the water droplets on the surface of the earth, polluting aquifers and contaminating crops.

When acid rain falls on the surface of the earth, a large force of negative effects is generated because, as already mentioned, it contaminates lakes, rivers, streams, swamps and other aquatic environments.

Acid rain raises the level of acidity in aquifers so that aluminum can be absorbed, which in turn is transferred from the aquifer to lakes and rivers.

This generates toxic levels for some species of animals, such as crabs, shellfish, fish and other animals. Acidic populations can cause species of economic importance to humans.

Forests and woodlands are also affected by acid rain, stealing nutrients and complex absorption due to aluminum emissions. “Plants suffer abrasion from the green parts, especially the leaves; With these damaged organs, the plant is weakened, its development slows down, it is easily attacked by different types of parasites, and it is more sensitive to periods of drought, all of which are conditions that it would have resisted under normal conditions. This can cause the death of large planting masses, such as forests, and a more or less significant deterioration of agricultural production”, a statement from the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM).

Human health is also compromised, mainly affecting the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, in addition to the fact that it can have pine in the pipes and expose people to concentrations of these chemicals and metals.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Deskhttps://nationworldnews.com/
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