Home & Garden > All Home & Garden > ANR-1229

Acid Rain: An Overview
James E. Hairston, Joey N. Shaw, Eve Brantley, John M. Beck
Free to View, Download, or Print

Pages / Length: 4
Publication Date: 05/10/2003

Acid rain refers to any precipitation that is more acidic (i.e., has a lower pH value) than that of normal rainwater. Carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere makes all rain slightly acidic because carbon dioxide and water combine to form carbonic acid, commonly known as carbonated water. The pH of normal rainwater ranges from 5.5 to 5.6, while most acid rain has a pH value of 4.0 to 4.6. Because acid rain includes snow, sleet, hail, dew, frost, and fog, it may also be referred to as acid precipitation or wet deposition. Some types of acid-forming solids and gases, called dry acid deposition, also fall to the earth from the atmosphere. This four-page publication answers frequently asked questions about pH value, the causes and harmfulness of acid rain, and methods for alleviating acid rain—for industry, communities, and individuals.