Universitatea “Ștefan cel Mare“ Suceava

Facultatea de Științe Economice și Administrație Publică

Acid rains
Ana- Maria Șchiopu
AI, 2
Suceava 2013

• Sandstone portal Figure
on Herten Castle in
Ruhr district of
Germany. Sculpted
1702; photographed in

.• Same sandstone portal figure photographed in 1969.

. and tiny bits of dry material that settle to Earth.• • is basically rain that has a higher than normal acid level (low pH). It can also occur in the form of snow. fog. Acid rain describes any form of precipitation with high levels of nitric and sulfuric acids.


• Burning petrol and oil in vehicle engines gives off nitrogen oxides as gases.Causes of Acid Rain • Burning coal. giving off sulphur dioxide gas. oil and natural gas in power stations makes electricity. . • These gases mix with water vapour and rainwater in the atmosphere producing weak solutions of sulphuric and nitric acids – which fall as acid rain.

Where do N emissions originate? • ~ 55% come from agriculture • ~ 25% come from industry • ~ 20% come from automobiles .

Air Pollutant % that mobile sources contribute to acid rain % that other sources contribute to acid rain Volatile organic compound 37% 63% Nitrogen oxide 49% 51% Carbon monoxide 81% 19% Particulate matter 27% 73% .

gases produced in England and Western Europe can result in acid rain in Scotland and Scandinavia. High chimneys disperse the gases and winds blow them great distances before they dissolve and fall to Earth as rain.• Acid rain can travel long distances. • For eg. • Often it doesn’t fall where the gas is produced. .

. • Think of it this way: every time you turn on a light switch or the television set without really needing to. • Also.• People probably couldn't live without electricity! Therefore coal will continue to be burnt. electricity and energy are constantly being overused. you're indirectly contributing to the acid rain problem.


. • The soil poisons the tree with toxic substances that the rain has deposited into it. but it also happens when trees absorb soil that has come into contact with acid rain.• All of this happens partly because of direct contact between trees and acid rain.

.• The atmosphere deposits a lot of toxic metals into the forests because acid rain contains metal. copper. zinc. chromium. Some of these metals are lead. and aluminum.

. algae.• When there is acid rain. the rain releases these metals. This also stunts the growth of mosses. and fungi that are needed to help the forest grow. This is believed to stunt the growth of many trees and plants. nitrogen-fixing bacteria.

and can even die from the effects of acid rain. . and throat irritations can be caused by the sulphur dioxides and nitrogen oxides from acid rain. • Many can find it difficult to breathe. Asthma. along with dry coughs. especially people who have asthma.Humans • Humans can become seriously ill. headaches. One of the major problems that acid rain can cause in a human being is respiratory problems.

Brain damage. the toxins inside of their meals can affect them. kidney problems. When humans eat these plants or animals.• Acid rain can be absorbed by both plants (through soil and/or direct contact) and animals (from things they eat and/or direct contact). . and Alzheimer's disease has been linked to people eating "toxic" animals/plants.

• Research carried out in North America in 1982.000 people and about 200.000 people become ill as a result of the pollution. revealed that sulphur pollution killed 51. .

Transports • Currently. both the railway industry and the aeroplane industry are having to spend a lot of money to repair the corrosive damage done by acid rain. bridges have collapsed in the past due to acid rain corrosion. Also. .

because they cannot survive in acidic lakes. Some of the life in the lake such as fish and plants may end up dying. Even if the acid rain does not fall straight into the lake. it may enter from rivers and streams.Water life • Acid rain has a terrible effect on water life. . for example.

Acid rain can even kill fish before they are born when the eggs are laid and come into contact with the acid.• Fish die off. • Also. and that removes the main source of food for birds. . when the acid level is lower. • Fish usually die only when the acid level of a lake is high. they can become sick. suffer stunted growth. or lose their ability to reproduce. birds can die from eating "toxic" fish and insects.

.• You can recognize a lake dead from acid rain by its clean and crystal clear water. But they look clean because there is very little living in them anymore. Tiny plants and animals are mostly unable to survive.

Sandstone and limestone are examples of stone which are fairly soft and are damaged easily. and it is the softer ones which are most affected by acid rain. It also damages stained glass and plastics. frost and the sun. . but when acidic gases are present. Granite is an example of a harder stone that can resist the effects of acid rain. wind. Some types of building materials are softer than others. • Buildings are naturally eroded by rain. it speeds up the erosion.Buildings • Acid rain can also ruin buildings because the acid eats into metal and stone.


 Limit the number of vehicles on the roads and increase public transport. .turn off lights when a room is not in use. solar panels. . don’t leave on standby.  Fit catalytic converters to vehicle exhausts which remove the nitrogen oxides.  Use renewable energy like wind power. Sulphur dioxide can be removed from power stations chimneys but this process is expensive. tidal power and geothermal energy.  Reduce the amount of electricity we use .turn tv’s off at the mains.

and recycle as often as you can • Try not to burn a fire as often as you usually do .• Only run the dishwasher/ washing machine with a full load • Turn off the hot water tank when you will be gone for a long period of time • Turn down the heat at night and when you will not be home for the night • Don’t use your air conditioner as much • Install fluorescent light bulbs instead of incandescent light bulbs • Try to reduce. reuse.

ride your bike. you could walk. or natural gas •Take the train or a bus for long trips •Make sure that your vehicle’s air conditioning system isn’t leaking •Try not to overflow the gas tank . propane. or take a bus •For alternate fuels. try ethanol.•When you are going to work.

it would still take many years for its harmful effects to disappear.But even if acid rain could be stopped today. .