Effects of Acid Rain on Human-Made Materials
Acid rain eats away at stone, metal, paint -- almost any material exposed to the weather for a long period
of time. Human-made materials gradually deteriorate even when exposed to unpolluted rain, but acid rain
accelerates the process. Acid rain can cause marble statues carved long ago to lose their features.
Acid rain has the same effect on buildings and monuments. Repairing acid rain damage to houses,
buildings, and monuments can cost billions of dollars. Ancient monuments and buildings, such as the
Parthenon in Greece, can never be replaced.
Here is a way for you to observe the effect of acid rain on marble and limestone, two building materials
commonly used in monuments, ancient buildings, and in many modern structures.
The next day, see if you can see which piece of chalk is more worn away.
- Place a piece of chalk in a bowl with white vinegar.
- Place another piece in a bowl of tap water.
- Leave the dishes overnight.
This experiment with chalk allows you to see the effect of acid rain on marble and limestone because chalk is
made of calcium carbonate, a compound occurring in rocks, such as marble and limestone, and in animal bones, shells, and teeth.
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