It is very difficult for an ordinary person to distinguish between acid rain and normal rain, but this does not mean it doesn’t affect us in any way. Acid rain has become more and more of a hassle in the coming years in India and actually poses as much as a problem for agriculture as drought does.
Acid rain occurs when rain mixes with pollutants in the air such as the oxides of sulphur and nitrogen. This causes the pH level in the rainwater to drop below 5.65. pH is a scale which indicates whether a substance is acidic, basic or neutral. If the substance is neutral it measured as 7, anything below 7 is acidic. However, only if the rain falls below 5.65 does it become harmful.
Acid rain is the main reason for the deterioration of Taj Mahal and other monuments. These monuments are an important part of our history which is slowly being lost to acid rain, and various other reasons. It also adversely affects soil and water bodies. It can be fatal to aquatic animals and it also reduces nutrition is soil as the nutrients diminish through leaching. It also increases heavy metals such as mercury in water. This water finds its way into human physiologies affecting our health.
Acid rain also affects the breeding of moths and other insects which are essential for forest life and growth. It also affects breeding in aquatic animals as the lakes and rivers turn acidic. Eggs of fishes can easily be destroyed when the water bodies turn acidic.
Acid rain contains harmful sulphuric and nitric acids which cause lung cancer. However, these aren’t the only chemicals present in acid rain. There could be several other health effects due to acidic rain, including problems associated with digestive and nervous systems.
All is not glum though as acid rain can be prevented. It is easier said than done but the only solution to this problem is to conserve energy. Not wasting electricity and reducing the use of private vehicles is the only way we can save our country from acid rain. Moreover, one must be careful as to not drink untreated rainwater. One must also think twice before having food from street vendors. Avoiding rains is an impossibility but one must try not to go out during the first rain as pollutants in the air tend to be higher then.
All of us in a way love the rains but are only disturbed by the pollution and filth that come with it. But the reality is that most of this filth is man-made. Only if we all do our part in preventing acid rain can we finally be able to enjoy the monsoon relaxingly.