For the last several decades, acid rain has been an environmental hazard. The following brief blog will discuss what acid rain is and highlight the potentially adverse impacts the phenomenon can have on human health.
Acid Rain Defined
Also scientifically classified as acid deposition, acid rain occurs when acidic chemical compounds are emitted into the atmosphere and subsequently return to earth in the form of precipitation like rain or other weather phenomena such as fog or hail. Specific elements like sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxide are most often expelled into the atmosphere from sources such as electric power generators that burn fossil fuels and the noxious emissions left by motor vehicles.
Acid Rain’s Impact On Human Health
Pollution Of Drinking Water
The chemicals found in tainted rain often permeate fresh water sources. Such circumstances elicit a double health threat. Breathing atmospheric particles infiltrated by the substances that precipitate acid rain could potentially cause harm. However, the consumption of tainted drinking water provide an even more direct method for said toxins to enter an individual’s body and wreak havoc.
The toxic particles individuals exposed to acid rain breathe in can accumulate inside the lungs resulting in respiratory problems including asthma and chronic bronchitis. Additionally, the polluted air can exacerbate more serious ailments like pneumonia and emphysema.
Skin Cancer And Other Complexion-Related Ailments
While scientists opine that the acid contained in acid rain is not strong enough to burn human skin, certain chemicals contained within do possess the capacity to damage the earth’s ozone layer. This invisible, atmospheric protective sheath provides shade against the ultraviolet rays emitted by the sun. However, chronic and extensive exposure to said power can increase one’s chances of developing potentially significant maladies like various forms of skin cancer, as well as less serious types of skin damage.
Acid rain is also believed to precipitate visibility limitations. One common occurrence the phenomenon can precipitate is fog, which can become thick and lead to sight issues. Said issues could become problematic, perhaps even dangerous when individuals are walking and driving.
Impact On Other Living Things
Acid rain is believed to have an impact on certain forms of plant life and has been known to disturb the flora in specific lakes and ponds.