Did you know that all your life you’ve been thriving on acidic water? Yes, that’s true. A latest research by Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) and India Meteorological Department (IMD) claims that the rising level of air pollution in our country has turned rainwater acidic. Lately, many Indian cities have experienced acid rain. For those who don’t know, acid rain causes great damage to standing crops and corrodes building. Consistent accumulation of acid in soil reduces soil nutrition and kills aquatic life.
The acid in rainwater also enhances heavy metal concentration in soil that eventually impacts human health.
How is Acid Rain Detrimental for Life & Property?
The acidity or alkalinity of water is measured on the pH scale. pH is known as Potential of Hydrogen. The pH scale runs from 1 to 15. pH 7 is neutral whereas any pH below 5.6 is acidic. Pure rainwater is neutral since it has pH 7. As pH drops below 5.6, the acidity of water keeps on increasing.
When poisonous gases (usually oxides of sulfur or nitrogen) emitted by vehicles and factories enter the atmosphere, the acidic metal particles remain suspended in the air. When it rains, the acidic gases dissolve in water and come down as acid. This acid percolates the soil and strips it off major nutrients. In simple words, acid accumulation in soil affects its productivity. It also has a corrosive effect on the monuments.
Acid rain dissolves rocks and emits heavy metals into soil and ecosystem. These metals may reach natural water sources and agriculture field. Ultimately, they enter inside living bodies and causes various disease. This fact was proven by scientists PSP Rao and V Vizaya Bhaskar, who published their findings in the Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry.
These scientists collected rainwater samples from Allahabad, Nagpur, Mohanbari, Kodaikanal and Vishakhapatnam in last one decade. Upon testing, the water samples revealed a pH from 4.77 to 5.32. Thus, the researchers concluded that Indian soil samples show a decreasing trend in pH level in last one decade.
Therefore, lately, the government has started pitching green technologies and eco-friendly techniques to prevent acid rain in future.