Any precipitation that contains pollutants - nitrogen oxides, sulfur and other acidic oxides - is called acid rain. The consequences of such a meteorological phenomenon for the environment are deplorable: they destroy plants, deprive animals of food, and pollute water bodies. A person also suffers from acid rain, the body reacts to pollution by the appearance of a number of diseases.
What is acid rain?
Normal rainwater has a slightly acidic reaction, since the air, where moisture particles are formed, contains carbon dioxide. But if the atmosphere has an increased content of pollutants emitted as a result of the operation of cars, metallurgical plants, power plants and other human activities, then the water reacts with these compounds, and its pH decreases. It contains sulfuric, nitrous, sulfurous, nitric and other acids. And when falling on the ground in the form of rain, snow or other types of precipitation (including fog), these substances interact with the environment and have a detrimental effect on it.
The effects of acid rain
If acid rain is observed in the area of water bodies - over rivers, lakes, seas, then the water in them also gradually begins to oxidize, although with small impacts it actively resists pH changes. But if acid rains occur regularly, then this stability decreases, as a result of which the ecological state of water bodies deteriorates. At a high concentration of acids in water, creatures living in it, most often insects, begin to die. For example, fly-by-night flies cannot live at a pH of more than 5, 5. Fish are more resistant to such pollution, but if the insects die, then the food chain is inevitably disrupted: for example, the trout that feeds on these flies is faced with a lack of food. As a result, the number of fish in the reservoir also decreases.
Some fish can exist in acidic water, but cannot raise offspring in it, which also leads to the death of the population.
If acid rain falls on forests, the leaves of the trees collapse and fall off. Most often, tall trees, which find themselves in acid clouds, are exposed to this effect. Slight precipitation with high acidity destroys forests more slowly and imperceptibly: they gradually reduce soil fertility and saturate it with toxins, plants begin to ache and slowly die out.
Cars that cause air pollution then begin to suffer from them: acid precipitation destroys their protective coatings. Such rains are no less dangerous for man-made structures: buildings and monuments made of marble or limestone literally corrode, as calcite is washed out of them.
Granite and sandy rocks are more resistant to acids.
Acid rain is also a hazard to human health. Outwardly, they cannot be distinguished, they look like ordinary rain, do not have a specific smell or taste and do not lead to unpleasant sensations on the skin. You can be exposed to acids not only during precipitation, but also when swimming in a river or lake. This leads to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases - asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis.