Odysseus’s orders to his old nurse cited above sound strange taken out of context. With the burnt element’s acrid odor, the returned traveler wanted to cleanse his rooms polluted by the presence of his wife’s suitors. In more ordinary circumstances, burning of sulfur—usually not directly but as a part of fossil fuels—does anything but “cleanse all pollution”: combustion of coal and oil products, and also processing of hydrocarbons and smelting of nonferrous metals, now appear to be the single largest terrestrial input into the element’s complex global cycle, the inflow resulting in worrisome regional environmental degradation simplifyingly labeled as “acid rain.”
KeywordsSulfur Compound Acid Deposition National Atmospheric Deposition Program Sulfur Emission National Atmospheric Deposition Program
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