What is Sulphur Dioxide?

Sulphur dioxide is a colourless gas with a strong, pungent smell. It dissolves very easily in water. This gas can be dissolved in the environment through air and water both which could be converted into sulphuric acid while in the air and sulphuric dioxide while in water.

What causes Sulphur Dioxide in the environment?

It is one of the important pollutants causing air pollution and is mostly caused by human sources and generally formed by industrial materials like coal, oil and gas. But the primary sources of sulphur dioxide emissions are from fossil fuel combustion and natural volcanic activity.

Sulphur Dioxide and Health Effects.

Exposure to sulphur dioxide through inhaling it is extremely dangerous and life-threatening as it makes the lung functioning changes and causes nasal and throat difficulties and severe airway obstructions.  It also irritates the skin and mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. High concentrations of SO2 can cause inflammation and irritation of the respiratory system, particularly during heavy physical activity.

There are also other several health-related problems that are caused of Sulfur Dioxide:-
– Corneal Haze, which is the creation of cloudy appearance in the cornea.
– Breathing difficulty is caused.
– Airway inflammation causing a lot burning in the airway.
– Heart Failure.
– Causing higher mortality rates.

People getting affected by Sulphur Dioxide.

In general, there are different kinds of people who, by inhaling SO2 are affected grievously by the content of the pollutant being a cause of high levels of Air Quality.

  • Children – Children are most affected by inhaling SO2 as they are more prone to getting asthma at a young age. Lower SO2 levels can cause more health risk and be more harmful to the Air Quality Index(AQI).
  • Old Adults – They are at higher risk as they could already be having different lung and heart-related diseases due to the bad quality of air causing air pollution.
  • People with lung disease – People with diseases like Emphysema, asthma and other respiratory diseases would face more severe health issues from inhaling SO2.

Standards for AQI.

In general terms, the standard Concentrations of SO2 in the ambient air twice the current standards are associated with adverse health effects. There is no basis for relaxation of the present standards for sulphur oxides at this time.

This is the table showing the basic standard of SO2 moderation for Air Quality.





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