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air pollution and acid rain

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Introduction Air pollution and acid rain are global issues that have a significant effect on living things and the environment that they live in. Air pollution combined with acid rain causes 3 million fatalities each year (ref: "http://www.spinneypress.com.au/157_book_desc.html"), through respiratory diseases and cancer. Air pollution and acid rain is the result of harmful substances being placed into the atmosphere resulting in damage to the environment, human health, and quality of life. Air pollution is one of three forms of pollution and takes place world over, in basically every city, in every country in every continent. Acid rain is a specific form of air pollution in which pollutants incorporate into water droplets whilst in the atmosphere to form acidic rain, this corrodes statues and buildings, damages crops and forests, and make lakes and streams unsuitable for fish and other plant and animal life. Air pollution is continually changing the Earth's atmosphere for the worst, but work can be done to make minimise air pollution and more so it's harmful effects. How is air pollution and acid rain caused? Industrialisation and progress have led to air getting more and more polluted over the years as represented in figure 1. Industries, vehicles, increase in population, and urbanization are some of the major factors responsible for air pollution. ...read more.


Some industrial processes, such as production of paper and smelting of metals, produce sulphur dioxide. It is a major contributor to smog and acid rain. Acid rain is caused by a chemical reaction that begins when compounds like sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are released into the air. These substances can rise very high into the atmosphere, this is usually pushed along by large smokestacks like that in figure 1, which pushes the pollutants higher into the air where they can mix and react with water, oxygen, and other chemicals to form more acidic pollutants, known as acid rain. Sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides dissolve very easily in water and can be carried very far by the wind. As a result, the two pollutants can travel long distances where they become part of the rain, sleet, snow, and fog and form acid rain, this process is described below. Consequences of pollution and acid rain Pollution and acid rain causes many problems to the plant and animal life, furthermore it can cause significant problems to human beings, such as respiratory diseases and cancer. The toxins released into the air by polluted rain cause a huge problem in the form of acid rain. The chemicals in acid rain react with any object they come in contact with. ...read more.


Cleaner energy includes, wind power, solar power and hydraulic power, this contrasts with coal, oil and gas which can be very dangerous to the environment. Petrol used by the ever increasing number of vehicles can also be changed to be more environmentally friendly; this includes the introduction of hybrid cars which release almost no toxins into the air. Liming is a way of reducing acidic levels in areas that have been effected by acid rain, this is done by powdered limestone being added to the effected area, thus almost immediately reducing acidic levels. This reduces acidic levels but unfortunately temporarily. These are a few things that can be done by you to minimise air pollution: About half of the air pollution comes from the exhausts of vehicles. Two important ways to reduce air pollution are to drive less and to drive wise. Ways of smarter driving include: * Public transport. * Walk or ride a bicycle. * Carpool. Many household products release toxins into the air, ways of minimizing this include: * Use products with a water base, or contain a high level of water. * Large scale painting should be done with a brush not a sprayer. * Use an electric mower. Wise energy usage helps to reduce air pollution * Turn off the lights when you leave a room. * Replace energy hungry incandescent lights with fluorescent lighting. * Add insulation to your home. * Dry your clothes on a clothesline. ...read more.

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