Environmental Illness Awareness–Acid Rain

Posted Oct 07 2009 10:00pm

This month, I’ll be looking at the effects of pollution on human health. If you don’t see immediate impacts, it’s easy to dismiss the serious consequences of pollution of any type to the environment, and consequently humans. According to a Cornell University study, over 40% of human deaths worldwide are caused by pollution. Today, I’ll discuss acid rain.

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Acid rain forms when sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions from energy-producing factories combine with moisture in the air in a reaction fueled by the sun. The result is precipitation at higher levels of acidity that can render lakes lifeless and damage or kill plants and trees. As far as human impacts are concerned, inhaling this particles over time leads to heart and lung disorders.

There are also long term effects in the environment. As with water bodies, soils can also become acidified by acidic precipitation. The effect is the same. Plants can’t live. Clean up can be a lengthy, costly process.

It behooves us to take charge of the environment. Little things like walking instead of driving, carpooling all add up to a decreased dependence on fossil fuels. Do it for the next generation.