3.3 Air pollution
Sulfur dioxide has serious health impacts – it causes or worsens a range of diseases including asthma, chronic bronchitis, respiratory infections and cardiac disease (WHO, 2014). Rohde and Muller (2015), for example, estimate that air pollution causes 1.6 million deaths a year in China alone, with SO2 (predominately from coal-fired power stations) a major contributor of this. SRM with sulfates ‘will probably contribute to thousands of air pollution deaths a year’, according to David Keith (2013, p. 71). On top of this, any sulfuric acid that rains out of the atmosphere then damages buildings and trees.