Effect of Sulfur Dioxide on Plants and Animals

Sulfur dioxide is one of the gaseous products of the combustion of coal and of other industrial operations, sulfur dioxide is discharged into the atmosphere of industrial centers in large quantities. This gasses are predicted exclusive of the discharge of internal combustion engines, the amount of sulfur dioxide released into the atmosphere of New York City during 1934 averaged close to 2000 tons per day. Recent studies by the Air Hygiene Foundation, the National Research Council of Canada, the United States Department of Agriculture, the Boyee Thompson Institutions of sulfur dioxide prevail over large areas surrounding industrial centers.

The effect of sulfur dioxide on vegetation and on animal and human health are, therefore, of importance to agriculture, to industry and to the general population.

The injurious effects of sulfur dioxide on plants have been the source of investigation, extended litigation, and discussions over a period dating back to the work of Stockhardt in 1848. Investigators are in general agreement that concentrations of the gas on the order of 1 part per million parts of air by volume (ppm), will cause typical foliar markings on more sensitive species in a few hours, under favorable conditions, and that higher concentrations may cause complete defoliation and death.

Investigators have not agreed, however, on the effect of long exposure to low concentrations of the gas which do not produce visible marking, concentrations such as prevail over the larger part of the areas subjected to fumes of sulfur dioxide.

The implications of the invisible injuries theory are of considerable importance to industrial as well as to agricultural interests. Sulfur dioxide that expose to atmosphere is not merely a potential but an actual agent of injury, and the subject of injunctive relief as nuisance in the eyes of the law.

Sulfur dioxide in atmosphere can react with water vapor become a dangeroous acid that called as sulfuric acid, this substance than can break everything plants, kill small animals, and dangerous to human health. If sulfur dioxide change into sulfuric acid in atmosphere than can cause acid rain that dangeroous to plant, animaal and human.


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