Sulphate is a chemical compound that is a key component of rain and acid aerosols. It is formed when sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas is oxidized in the atmosphere. This oxidation process can occur naturally, through the action of sunlight, or it can be caused by human activities such as burning fossil fuels, which release large amounts of SO2 into the air.
Once in the atmosphere, sulphate can travel long distances before being deposited on the earth’s surface, where it can have harmful effects on plants, animals, and human health. For example, acid rain – which is caused by the deposition of sulphate and other acidic compounds – can damage crops, forests, and bodies of water. In addition, sulphate aerosols can contribute to respiratory problems and other health issues when they are inhaled.
Efforts are underway to reduce sulphate emissions, both through technological innovations and policy changes. By reducing the amount of SO2 released into the atmosphere, we can help to protect the environment and human health from the harmful effects of sulphate and other pollutants.