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Acidic Oxides: Environmental Peril? Essay

879 words - 4 pages

As if the industrial industry isn't already causing enough problems-such as the greenhouse effect; there are also many other effects on our world caused by acidic oxides, which are a by-product of industrial industries. The effects that this by-product can cause are tremendous, and it comes in 2 forms: wet and dry, which can both be referred to as acid deposition.The 2 forms of acidic oxide which form acid rain are called sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx). The way these acids and compounds are formed, is by when they react with natural substances, along with water, sunlight (which increases the rate of most of the reactions) and oxygen. The chemical names for the result of these reactions are called sulfuric acid, and nitric acid.The chemical equation of how sulfur dioxide is turned into sulfuric acid is:The chemical equation of how nitrogen oxide is turned into nitric acid is:The effect that these 2 acids have on the environment, start with the change of pH of natural rain, with the pH of around 5.6; to the pH of acid rain which can cause it to decrease to even the pH of 2. This un-balances the ecological system, and one of the effects is the increase of the acidity in lakes which can destroy living organisms which depend on it. Acid rain also can decrease the amount of nutrients which are found in soil, which can completely damage plant life, as plants need nutrients from the soil to grow.Another effect of acid rain on the environment is smog. Sulphur Dioxide creates most of the air pollution, which is let out by the combustion of cars, and factories. In the most polluted city in the world, Mexico City, the smog is so great, that it is like smoking 60 cigarettes a day, in the center. This can cause great damage to health of people, and animals. The London smog disaster of 1952, was the worst recorded till today. In a five-day-period, the deaths of Londoners increased by 4 times the amount, and 12,000 people died prematurely, due to the extreme increase in smog: of around 56 times more than the amount of smog normally found in those years. In this 5-day- period, 370 tonnes of sulphur dioxide was converted to 800 tonnes of sulphuric acid. This smog was caused from the burning of coal, and wood, in mostly all of the London homes, because of the cold weather.The symptoms of dying from smog are: Pneumonia, Bronchitis, Tuberculosis, and Heart failure. These deaths were tragic, as people wheezed themselves to death, and/or died of asphyxiation. The smog can also cause damage to health, like permanent lung damage, chest pains, or greater risk of cancer. To prevent these damages to people, animals, life, and generally our world, everyone needs to take part. Some of the things people as individuals can do to...

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