The Most Important Effects of Acid Rain on Human Skin

Acid rain can be harmful to humans in addition to the environment. 

Ever questioned whether acid rain may possibly hurt or kill you? Here, we examine whether acid rain can have any negative impacts on human health and respond to some additional often asked issues about acid rain’s effects on people.

While prolonged exposure to acid rain can have a terrible impact on the ecosystem and kill a lot of plants and animals, it won’t physically harm or kill you. In reality, the U.S. EPA states that “walking in normal rain or swimming under non-acidic lakes is no more risky to humans than doing any of those things in acid rain.”

Acid rain-related health issues are actually caused by sulphur dioxide and nitrous oxide, two pollutants that contribute to the formation of acid rain in the first place. You could also become harmed by additional contaminants like sulphate and nitrate compounds. 

You run the risk of inhaling these toxins into your lungs when they are airborne. 

Asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema can all develop when exposure to this form of particulate matter is severe enough. It can also raise the risk and severity of heart disease and decrease lung function. 

Where does acid rain happen the most?

Acid rain is, sadly, relatively common across the world especially in the North Eastern United States, Eastern Europe, and increasingly in rapidly developing nations like China and India.

Can acid rain cause skin burns? 

On contact, very strong acids can and will burn your skin and even dissolve some metals. But for this to happen, these acids’ pH values must be exceedingly low, approximately 1. 

Acid rain, on the other hand, has a pH that typically ranges from 4.2 to 4.4 and is a proportionally much weaker acid. Although lower pHs have occasionally been noted. 

For comparison, lemon juice has a pH of about 2.3 while vinegar is around 2.2. Even at its lowest, acid rain’s pH was still nowhere near as potent as vinegar or lemon juice.

Having said that, you ought to avoid getting any acid, no matter how weak, on your eyes or other mucous membranes. If the pH is too low, it could cause eye irritation and stinging, or at a high enough exposure, it could seriously harm your cornea, possibly impairing your vision.

Hope it helps!