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Common atmospheric pollutants and acid rain

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Acids and alkalis

The pH of the water on the Earth is important for maintaining life. All substances will be acidic, neutral, or alkaline, and we use the pH scale to determine this.

Different people may need to measure the pH, like a scientific or environmental researcher, and they can use a pH meter which will give the pH as a number.

Alternatively, an indicator can be used such as ‘universal indicator’ which can be added to the substance and will change colour.

Either the colour or the number can be compared to the pH scale to work out if a substance is acidic, neutral or alkaline.

pH scale KS4

Pure water is neutral, though oceans have a pH of around 8 making it mostly neutral but slightly basic.