There are a number of examples where pollution clearly has damaged materials. Ambient sulfur products historically are responsible for corrosion of metals again dependent upon he level of oxidants, temperature and humidity. Greater water vapor pressure causes a faster rate of corrosion. It is believed by many that the bendability and pliability of metals may be adversely effected by sulfur.
Sulfur products also damage fabrics, in acid from S carbonates stone and erodes electrical equipment. Cotton material looses its breaking strength at the rate of .025% every 10 years for lmG/m
of S02 pollution.
Many of the titration experiments performed in the laboratory serve to demonstrate the accumulative effects of acid to change a basic solution. These activities are demonstrative of the slow and hardly determinative effects of small amounts of acid rain on water reservoirs. But if the acid rain continues as in titration experiments eventually the total acidity of a large body of water can be effected which will in turn effect the entire biotic community. Litmus paper demonstration from even dilute nitric and sulfuric acid will reaffirm the products as acid.
The use of acid in dilute form on limestone or other calcerous stone is a vivid example of the effects of acid on geological formations. Such natural dissolution of rock can effect the water reservoirs by changing the composition of aqueous solutions.
There is available information in all local communities on the cost of cleaning the facades of buildings which have been eroded by atmospheric elements.
The damages resulting from the pollution can be extremely depending upon the locale.
The Council on Environmental Quality has estimated the total air pollution costs in the United States at $16 billion annually, which corresponds to $80 for every man, woman, and child in the country. In 1970 the council estimated some particular annual costs as follows: $100 million for painting steel structures; $800 million for laundering and dyeing of soiled fabrics; $240 million for washing cars dirtied by air pollution; $500 million for damage to agricultural crops and livestock; $40 to $80 million for adverse effects on air travel, largely due to reduced visibility
Not included in these figures were costs of absenteeism from work due to illness, medical costs and the scraping and restoring of buildings.