What is Marble Cancer?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

Marble cancer refers to an event of corrosion of monuments, statues, and buildings because of acid rain. The acid rain damages the marble through the action of nitric acid and sulphuric acid. Sulphuric acid and nitric acid are created when pollutants like sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide in the air react with atmospheric water vapor. Rain becomes acidic after mixing with these acids.

Define Marble Cancer

Calcite or dolomite are the most frequent recrystallized carbonate minerals found in marble, a metamorphic rock. Although there are exceptions, marble is typically not foliated. The term marble is used to describe metamorphosed limestone in geology, but unmetamorphosed limestone is also included in its broader usage in stonemasonry. Marble is frequently employed in architecture and sculpture.

The marble deteriorates due to the acid rain’s reaction with the marble’s carbonate. Acid rain is a term used to describe rain that contains high concentrations of hydrogen ions, sulphuric acid, or nitric acid.

  • The burning of fossil fuels and the eruption of volcanoes release dangerous gases into the atmosphere, such as sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides.
  • The acidity of acid rain is determined using the pH scale. Acid rain has a pH that ranges from 4.2 to 4.4.
  • On the other hand, normal rain has a pH scale of 5.6.
  • Industries close to the Taj Mahal produce pollutants like sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, which combine with atmospheric water vapor to produce sulphuric acid and nitric acid, respectively.
  • Marble corrodes as a result of acid mixing with rain to create acid rain.


What is Marble Cancer?

The corrosion of structures and monuments caused by acid rain is referred to as marble cancer. Marble cancer is created when the calcium carbonate found in the marbles of monuments and buildings reacts with the acids in acid rain.

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