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Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) Basics

What is SO2?

Sulphur dioxide (SO2) is a colourless gas with an irritating pungent odour. It readily dissolves in water and is one of the main chemicals that causes acid rain.

It is a common air pollutant and is produced naturally by active volcanoes and forest fires. The majority of SO2 present in the environment is due to the burning of coal and oil at large industrial plants such as oil refineries and power stations. Motor vehicles, domestic boilers and fires also release the gas into the environment.

Note exposure levels are listed on Health and Safety Executives EH 40 Document. (exposure levels quoted in the above table).

 Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) Basics

What are the harmful effects of SO2?

SO2 can affect both health and the environment.

What are the health effects of SO2?

Short-term exposures to SO2 can harm the human respiratory system and make breathing difficult. People with asthma, particularly children, are sensitive to these effects of SO2.

SO2 emissions that lead to high concentrations of SO2 in the air generally also lead to the formation of other sulfur oxides (SOx). SOx can react with other compounds in the atmosphere to form small particles. These particles contribute to particulate matter (PM) pollution. Small particles may penetrate deeply into the lungs and in sufficient quantity can contribute to health problems.


What are the environmental effects of SO2 and other sulfur oxides?

At high concentrations, gaseous SOx can harm trees and plants by damaging foliage and decreasing growth.  

SO2 and other sulfur oxides can contribute to acid rain which can harm sensitive ecosystems. 



SO2 and other sulfur oxides can react with other compounds in the atmosphere to form fine particles that reduce visibility (haze) in parts of the United States, including many of our treasured national parks and wilderness areas. 

Deposition of particles can also stain and damage stone and other materials, including culturally important objects such as statues and monuments.


Industrial Uses of SO2

One of the main uses of sulphur dioxide is as a chemical intermediate in the production of sulphuric acid. It is also used:

● as a fumigant

● a food preservative

● as a bleaching agent.

● additionally it has been used in the purification of petroleum products.


As a professional manufacturer, TYHJ focuses on providing specialty gas like Sulphur Dioxide, and it serves clients across China and in the world.

Our advantages

● More than fifteen years on the market.

● ISO certificate manufacturer & Stable raw material source.

● On-line analysis system for gas quality control in every step, highly close to 100% pass rate.

● Experienced DG International Shipping Team by sea & air.


Welcome to contact us for more information about sulphur dioxide. We'd like to help you out!