Does acid rain have an effect on humans?

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ako6777 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Acid rain is harmful to humans but in an indirect way.  It is the pollutants in acid rain that cause the damage we experience.  Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide are the harmful contaminants. 

"These gases interact in the atmosphere to form fine sulfate and nitrate particles that can be transported long distances by winds and inhaled deep into people's lungs."

The inhaling of these contaminants can cause respiratory problems such as bronchitis, and asthma.  It can even cause premature death due to heart and lung disorders.

Other indirect ways acid rain is harmful to humans is through its effect on our environment.  It acidifies ground water and surface lakes which in turn contaminate soil and plants.  Acid rain also has a harmful effect on our infrastructure.  It aids in the decomposition of building materials and paints.


besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Another way that acid rain has an effect on humans is through the food chain. An example would be the burning of fossil fuels. As these fuels are burned, the harmful chemicals go into the atmosphere. As it rains, the chemicals are then returned to the Earth, perhaps draining into the soil or falling into lakes or rivers. We grow crops in the soil. Acid rain has the potential to contaminate the food we grow. Also, the acid rain that goes into the lakes and rivers could possibly end up in our water supply.

This not only has an effect on humans but on wildlife as well. This is especially true for those living in aquatic environments as these chemicals can be incredibly toxic.

All species are in some way connected so what effects one species will somehow have an effect on another.

krishna-agrawala | Student

The term acid rain is used for describing rain, snow, sleet or other similar precipitation from the sky that have been polluted by acids such as sulphuric acid and nitric acid. Such acids are formed when pollution from industry, automobiles, heating and other similar sources combine with the moisture present in the atmosphere. The most common pollutants that cause acid rain are sulphur dioxide, and nitrogen oxide.In addition to acid rains, the acids may also reach earth by themselves without rain. Such dry deposits also cause considerable pollution.

Acid rain affects humans adversely by polluting lakes, rivers and streams, which kills aquatic life of the polluted water bodies. Acid deposition also damage soil and forests. In addition it damages structures such as buildings, bridges and monuments built by humans.

reececup1 | Student

Most definately.Acid rain can slowly but surely damage the epidermis(top layer of skin).

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