What We As Students Can Do To Save Our World
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When toxic or harmful substances are released into the atmosphere, they are called air pollutants. The main cause of air pollution is the burning of fuels. Coal and oil are needed to run our factories. Fuel oil is used to heat our homes. Gasoline is burned to make our automobiles run. Fuels are burned to help produce electricity. When these fuels are burned, they release smoke and other chemicals into the air. Sulfur gases are also released into the air. Some air pollution is caused by smoke from forest fires and volcanoes. This unwanted smoke and chemicals are pollutants. They make the air dirty. The most common pollutants are nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, ozone, and carbon monoxide. These pollutants cause numerous problems such as eye irritations, respiratory and breathing problems. Sulfur and nitrogen oxides, two of the chemicals released during the burning of fossil fuels, mix with the water in clouds and form strong acids. These acids then fall to the earth in various forms of precipitation such as rain, snow, sleet, hail or fog. This precipitation is called acid rain. This acid rain can destroy plant and animal life. It can also be harmful to buildings. These acids break down some types of building stone such as limestone and marble. Acid rain also kills trees and destroys crops. When it falls into lakes and streams, it kills fish and harms our drinking water. Remember, this acid rain is formed when the wind carries the chemicals that are released into the air, they become part of the water cycle.