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Pollutants, their impacts, and mitigation of harmful effects - Essay Example

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Pollution is the introduction of unwanted particles and compound into the atmosphere (Jakubiak, 2012). There are different types of pollutants and among them is acid rain. Acid rain, also…
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Pollutants, their impacts, and mitigation of harmful effects
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Download file to see previous pages Despite all these impacts that acid rains poses to health and the environment, all is not lost because programs and laws have been put in place to mitigate these impacts.
Acid rain has two main causes. These include the natural causes and the human causes (Jakubiak, 2012). Volcanic eruptions are the leading natural cause of acid rain. Erupting volcanoes contain different chemicals in the gaseous form of sulfur dioxide that get mixed up with oxygen and water in the atmosphere and dispersed to other large areas by wind pattern. These may then fall down as acid rain. Other natural causes of acid rain include the rotting of vegetation that also leads to the production of sulfur dioxide. Sea sprays can sometimes cause sulfur dioxide to be released into the atmosphere. Lightening and bacterial decomposition are also natural causes of acid rain because they lead to the generation of nitrogen dioxide, which when mixes with water and oxygen, falls back as acidic rain.
Apart from the natural cause of acid rain, human activities have contributed a great deal to these rains. Some of these activities include burning of fossil fuels and running of factories and automobiles, which lead to emission of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. The emitted gases then react with oxygen, water, and various chemicals to form acidic compounds such as sulfuric acid, nitric acid and ammonium nitrate. Wind will blow these acidic compounds over large areas and they will fall back to the ground as acid or any other form of precipitation such as fog, sleet, mist or snow.
Acid rain as Jakubiak, (2012) explains, comes in two main forms that are wet deposition and dry deposition. The wet deposition occurs when wind blows acidic chemicals in the air to areas where the weather is wet causing the acid to fall in the form of rain, fog, sleet, mist or snow. It affects large numbers of plants, animals and aquatic life when it flows through the ground. The acid water flows to rivers ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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