The term ‘acid rain’ means any form of precipitation like rain, fog, snow, or hail that contains harmful substances such as nitrogen and sulfur oxides. The major human sources do come from the industry, transportation, and a variety of power plants. Strictly speaking these industrial amounts of nitrogen, sulfur oxides and general pollutants from the air cause a drastic increase of the acidity of the precipitation and do also harm plants, humans, and buildings.
In order to save the climate and to protect the general air quality the Air Pollution & Climate Secretariat, formerly known as the Swedish NGO Secretariat in Acid Rain, tries to promote awareness of the variety of problems being associated with air pollution. Strictly speaking the Air Pollution & Climate Secretariat is a joint venture between five Swedish environmental organizations. This secretariat operates with the chief purpose to achieve the required reduction of the emission of air and industrial pollutants, including greenhouse gases. Consequently those emissions should be brought down to a level that our environment and nature are able to tolerate without suffering any damage regarding plants, buildings, and humans.
Fact is that air pollution affects both humans and the nature. Most obvious are the so-called direct effects on human health. Results of recent research show that small particles in the air caused more than 350,000 premature deaths within the 25 countries of the European Union in 2000. Furthermore it has to be taken into consideration that there are also other air pollutants as well as indirect effects on nature and humans. Those indirect effects include effects such as toxic groundwater and corrosion of materials. Many people use so-called blinds and/or marquees, also called Markisen in German, in order to protect for instance their terrace or patio from polluted air particles.
Due to drastic air pollution and the worsening of the general air quality, the climate does also get affected. If the climate gets warmer it affects a human’s health. A number of researchers fear that a warmer climate in the course of a general climate change may cause more extreme weather conditions. Strictly speaking this would also lead to more injuries and deaths being caused by hurricanes, flooding as well as to property damage. Another effect resulting from a warmer climate is the spread of a variety of insect transmitted diseases such as malaria and bilharzias.