Soil pollution is defined as the presence of toxic chemicals (pollutants or pollutants) in sufficient concentrations to threaten human health and ecosystems. Naturally occurring pollutants in soil are called soil pollution when the content of pollutants in the soil exceeds what should be naturally present, even if the content is not high enough to indicate danger.
It is a serious environmental concern since it harbours many health hazards. For example, exposure to soil containing high concentrations of benzene increases the risk of contracting leukaemia. The challenge of soil restoration (soil decontamination) is closely related to the degree of soil contamination. The greater the contamination, the greater the resources required for repair.
Soil Pollution: Types
All soil pollutants are the product of soil pollutants that pollute the soil. Human activities pollute the soil from agricultural practices that spread pesticide chemicals to plants to urban or industrial waste or radioactive emissions that pollute the soil with various toxic substances. Soil pollution is composed of pollutants and pollutants. The main pollutants in soil are biological agents and part of human activity. Following are the soil pollution types:
- Agricultural Practices: The soil of cultivated plants is largely contaminated with pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, fertilizers, rubble, and dung.
- Radioactive Pollutants: Radioactive substances such as radium, thorium, uranium, and nitrogen can penetrate the soil and cause toxic effects.
- Biological Agents: Biological retailers work in the soil to introduce manures and digested sludge (from the human, bird, and animal excreta) into the soil.
- Industrial Waste: Pesticides, textiles, steel, pharmaceuticals, cement, petroleum, glass, etc., are manufactured in paper mills, oil refineries, sugar mills, the petroleum industry, etc.
- Urban Waste: Municipal waste consists of waste and waste, dry sludge, household waste, and sewage from commercial waste.
Soil Pollution: Causes
Soil pollution is a complex phenomenon that can be caused by various things and activities, from littering cigarette butts to overuse of fertilizers. Each cause is related to another cause. However, the main causes are as follows:
Industrial waste causes pollution, but there are other ways to increase pollution. Everyone produces a certain amount of personal waste from urine and faeces.
Sewer systems also end in landfills where biological waste pollutes soil and water. This is because our bodies are full of toxins and chemicals, infiltrating the land and polluting the soil.
Industrial activity has been a major cause of problems in the last century, especially since the expansion of mining and manufacturing. Most industries rely on the extraction of minerals from the earth.
Acid rain occurs when pollutants in the air mix with the rain and return to the ground. Contaminated water can dissolve some of the essential nutrients in the soil and alter its soil structure.
Since technology has given us modern pesticides and fertilizers, chemicals have increased tremendously. They are full of chemicals that cannot be produced in nature and cannot be decomposed in nature.
Plants absorb many of these pesticides, and when they break down, they become part of the land and cause soil pollution. Other chemicals damage the composition of the soil and promote water and air erosion.
Soil Pollution: Effects
The ecological balance of all systems is affected by widespread soil pollution. Most plants are not adaptable if the chemistry of the soil changes so rapidly in a short period.
The fungi and bacteria in the soil that hold it together begin to subside, causing additional soil erosion problems. Soil fertility gradually declines, and the land is not suitable for agriculture and local vegetation to survive.
Toxic chemicals present in the soil can reduce soil fertility and reduce soil yield. Contaminated soil is used to produce fruits and vegetables deficient in high-quality nutrients. It can contain some toxic substances that can cause serious health problems for those who consume them.
Given that soil is the reason why we can sustain ourselves, its pollution has a significant impact on our health. Plants and plants that grow in polluted soil absorb most pollutants and pass them on to us. This can explain the sudden increase in small and incurable illnesses.
The release of toxic and rotten gas from landfills pollutes the environment and causes serious health consequences for some people. Also, unpleasant odours can be annoying to others.
Chemicals that are deadly to plants and animals and pesticides such as DDT and BHC should be banned. The explosion of nuclear and improper disposal of radioactive waste should be prohibited.
Soil Pollution: Control Measures
The following steps have been proposed to control soil contamination and prevent soil erosion. In general, if you can undertake all three Rs of reduction, reuse, and recycling, you will need fewer fertilisers and pesticides. This reduces solid waste.
- Material Reuse: Materials such as glass containers, plastic bags, paper, and cloth can be reused around the house instead of being discarded, reducing solid waste contamination.
- Reforestation: Attempts to control land loss and soil erosion by restoring forest and grassland areas to control wastelands, soil erosion, and floods. Crop rotation or mixed crops can improve soil fertility.
- Material Recycling and Recovery: This is a wise solution to reduce soil pollution. Materials such as paper and some types of plastic and glass are recyclable and will be recycled. This helps reduce the amount of waste and saves natural resources.
- Reduce the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides: The use of organic fertilizers and fertilisers can reduce chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Biological methods of pest control can also reduce the use of pesticides, thereby minimizing soil contamination.
- Awareness: Informal and formal awareness programs should be provided to educate people about health hazards through Environmental Education.
Many important changes need to be made to manage soil pollution and soil pollution without major economic compromises. Hope you have got in-depth knowledge about soil pollution in this article.