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Wednesday, October 6, 1999 Published at 17:31 GMT 18:31 UK

World: Europe

Acid rain effects reversing

Scientists in the United States say lakes and streams across Europe and North America appear to be recovering from the damage done by acid rain earlier this century.

The scientists, based at the Environmental Protection Agency, say the recovery is mainly due to stricter controls on industrial emissions of sulphur dioxide -- a significant component of acid rain.

The researchers warn, however, that it will take decades before the widespread damage to forests, crops, and human health can be completely reversed. The BBC science correspondent says acid levels reached a peak in the 1970s, but the trend was reversed due to conservationists' pressure, which forced the imposition of controls on dioxide emissions.

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