Impact of AMD (Acid Mine Drainage) On Environment – An Overview

What is AMD (Acid Mine Drainage)?

AMD or Acid Mine Drainage is a process similar to ARD or Acid Rock Drainage. In the latter, sulphuric acid is produced naturally by the exposure of sulphide rocks to air and water. In the former processor AMD, it occurs through mining process or is through human efforts. When large chunks of rocks are mined from the earth, sulphide ore containing rocks react with air and water to form sulphuric acid. This acid is carried off by rains or drainage from the surface of mines to nearby water-bodies and gets deposited there. It has very harmful effects both on aquatic life and humans. The water becomes unusable for anything. Under many courses AMD is involved and in such courses, students may need Acid Mine Drainage Assignment Writing Help, here BookMyEssay can be great partner.

Impacts of AMD on Environment:
There are various impacts of AMD of sulphuric acid on the environment. The environment here includes plants, animals and humans. These impacts are listed below:

  • Sulphuric acid remains suspended in air. It is brought down by rain showers. This rain is called acid rain. It is harmful for the vegetation and buildings get corroded by it.
  • It is harmful for human beings also as acid rain contains sulphuric acid which can burn skin. Other harmful effects on human body are as follows:
    1. Severe damage to lungs. Causes accumulation of fluids in lungs called pulmonary edema.
    2. Irritation in eyes and may cause permanent blindness.
    3. If swallowed accidently, can cause burning of mouth, esophagus, stomach etc.
    4. Degradation of enamel of teeth if exposed for long.
    5. In misty form, sulphuric acid is absorbed by mucous membranes of our body and goes to blood. It is excreted in urine. Large quantities present in the blood can cause kidney damage.
  • AMD takes with it toxic minerals from earth by the process of leaching. These minerals can be arsenic, cadmium, lead These accumulate in the water bodies causing harmful water pollution.
  • These dissolved harmful and toxic minerals are absorbed in plants and aquatic animals including fish. These can get biomagnified in the food chain associated with the respective plants and animals.
  • Water from these water bodies is rendered unfit for drinking and other purposes. The aquatic life along with the fish will also vanish soon. The people living nearby these water bodies would find it very difficult to sustain their life in absence of clean water.

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