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Acid rain

Another effect of air pollution is acid rain. The phenomenon occurs when sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides from the burning of fossil fuels such as, petrol, diesel, and coal combine with water vapour in the atmosphere and fall as rain, snow or fog. These gases can also be emitted from natural sources like volcanoes. Acid rain causes extensive damage to water, forest, soil resources and even human health. Many lakes and streams have been contaminated and this has led to the disappearance of some species of fish in Europe, USA and Canada as also extensive damage to forests and other forms of life. It is said that it can corrode buildings and be hazardous to human health. Because the contaminants are carried long distances, the sources of acid rain are difficult to pinpoint and hence difficult to control. For example, the acid rain that may have damaged some forest in Canada could have originated in the industrial areas of USA. In fact, this has created disagreements between Canada and the United States and among European countries over the causes of and solutions to the problem of acid rain. The international scope of the problem has led to the signing of international agreements on the limitation of sulphur and nitrogen oxide emissions.

 

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