Today pollution has become a very thoughtful topic to think. As we all have heard this word “pollution” many times in our daily lives. It is a kind of problem on which we need to work on at a global level. Before going towards – what are the causes of soil pollution, it’s effects along side with prevention of soil pollution we will discuss meaning of it:
Pollution is basically contamination which we human-beings spread intentionally or unintentionally in the environment. The pollution affects the ecosystem and brings negative changes. There are many categories of pollution, soil pollution is one of them. So, lets discuss soil pollution here:
Table of Contents
SOIL POLLUTION – AN OVERVIEW
Pollution which is caused due to contamination in soil because of numerous unnecessary chemical and biological properties of the soil which is created by human himself.
It is a part of “land degradation”, where the soil environment of a land or place is contaminated or destroyed by human-made chemicals or other natural activities in the soil environment.
It is typically caused by agricultural chemicals, industrial activities or improper disposal of waste. Herbicides/insecticides, copper, zinc, nickel, arsenic, mercury etc. are some of the examples of soil contaminants.
There are various components found in soil, from which minerals are the largest component and out of all components minerals constitutes 40% to 45%.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF SOIL POLLUTION?
Remember, there are many causes of soil pollution but we have gathered only main and severe ones here:
- OIL SPILLS– An oil spill can be explained as the release of a liquid petroleum hydrocarbon into the environment, especially the ocean/marine ecosystem. The surface of the land, air and water can be polluted by any kind of crude oil which spill is hazardous for soil.
- MINING– Many of industrial and human activities are a cause for non-Eco-friendly mining. The chemicals that release from the mining processes through the surface water or groundwater which is then mixed with soil causes soil pollution.
“As per the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the amount of waste deposited in landfills increased by 12% between 2001 to 2007, from 19 million to 21.3 million. In 2007-08, an alarming 16.8 million TV and/or computer units were disposed of in landfills”. You can imagine 2018 condition now !!!
- ACID RAIN – It may be natural or can be caused by pollution. When the water cycle process takes place, the water which evaporates from the surface also evaporates some amount of chemicals in it, this increases the pH of water so the acid rain forms and when acid rain falls, it ruins the soil and the plants on the earth. The acid rain effects are very bad for the soil.
- INTENSIVE FARMING – Agrochemicals such as pesticides, herbicides and the fertilizers are harmful to our environment, non-sustainable farming practices cause soil pollution.
- INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS – The unfortunate or unwanted experience that can cause a threat to life, injury, or disease.
- HUMAN WASTE – Domestic waste which is not bio-degradable, spread by humans in the environment. It is a major cause of environmental pollution. Every individual should have to make efforts for this. Otherwise, it can’t be stopped.
- NUCLEAR WASTE– Nuclear waste is highly toxic for our environment. It also consists of various chemicals that are not good for the soil, it decreases the soil fertility and so that causes soil pollution.
- LANDFILLS – Landfills are one of the causes of soil pollution, as we produce more and more disposable stuff, the lands are overflowing with garbage all over the world. The water which is present below the ground will become contaminated and the serious degradation of land will take place as a result of these landfills. So, they need to be treated properly.
“In 2010, the US generated about 250 million tons of trash. Approximately 85 million tons of trash was recycled”.
- DEFORESTATION – Cutting of trees in large amount i.e. ruining the forests is known as deforestation. Trees play a significant role when flood and heavy rain occurs, but if there is deforestation, the water will take away the fertile soil with it.
- FERTILIZERS – Another cause of soil pollution is the excess use of fertilizers for our crops. Human uses it in an excess amount which makes the soil acidic.
WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF SOIL POLLUTION?
Remember, There are many effects of soil pollution but here we have gathered major and severe ones:
- SERIOUS HEALTH EFFECTS ON HUMANS – Human health can be affected in various manners by soil pollution. As we know whatever we humans eat comes from the soil. It means our stomach fills with food and that food comes from the crops we grow in lands. And if that soil has been poisoned, it cannot be used anymore. We can cause various diseases by it.
- BAD EFFECTS ON PLANTS– When the soil is contaminating again and again because of those poisonous chemicals and materials, there will be a time when it will stop supporting plant life in it. The soil loses its productivity and the ability to grow plants in it.
- EFFECTS ON MICRO-ORGANISMS – The microorganisms which are found in soil, if the soil will be polluted the microorganisms which are habitats of soil will die. Their lives depend on soil and because of soil pollution they cannot survive on that soil.
- EFFECTS ON ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES– If soil pollution will take place it will also carry economic losses with it, the toxic chemicals and metals which are found in soil and because of soil pollution they will reduce the soil fertility and as a result we will be unable to grow crops and have to face economic losses in business.
- LOSS OF MINERALS – As we all know that soil has so many minerals in it which plants extract from the soil as nutrients. Some important minerals which are found in soil are- Sulphur, potassium, nitrogen, phosphorus, magnesium, iron etc.
- SOIL EROSION – Because of various human-made factors, when the top layer of the soil which is known as topsoil moves from its place to another place, soil erosion takes place and decreases the soil’s retaining capacity and affects the crops causes negative effects on the environment.
PREVENTION OF SOIL POLLUTION
Remember prevention of soil pollution starts from our home garden and every man has responsibility towards it so read the points carefully-
- We can stop soil pollution by producing our own energy by our waste products which are called bio-gas. The largest energy source in the making of bio gas is methane gas. The animals and human manure together help to make biogas.
After the extraction of gas in the process of making biogas, the mud left can be used as a fertilizer for crops. “Biogas is a mixture of carbon dioxide, methane, hydrogen Sulphide, siloxanes and some moisture.”
- Agriculture and food industries have become fully inorganic. So, we need to keep the agriculture and food industries clean and prevent the soil by those poisonous chemicals which flow in soil from those industries.
- The land is the best surviving place for a human. But human is spoiling it in every way. Soil pollution occurs in soil, means it creates land pollution through the soil, so we should keep the lands clean. We shouldn’t throw trash here and there.
- We should use dustbins which are made by human for collecting the trash in one place, we just have to throw the junk in it instead of spreading it everywhere.
“Another way to reduce the amount of trash is for companies to use less packaging on products. Things like smaller thinner plastic, bottle caps, and more compact packaging have played a major role in reducing the amount of trash and hence preventing soil pollution”.
- Other living organisms also have the right to live in a fresh environment. And the human is making this environment polluted by his unacceptable activities. So, we should try to give them that fresh environment by stop polluting the soil.
- Water sources are also affected by soil pollution as the atmosphere of water and air also comes in contact with it, so control on the soil pollution is the key.
- We should reduce the number of fertilizers for our crops as excess fertilizers make the soil acidic.
Some common environmental remediation is analyzed by environmental scientists are as follow: –
- THERMAL REMEDIATION – By introducing heat raise subsurface temperatures to remove the soil contaminants which are present in the groundwater and soil.
- BIOREMEDIATION – By involving microbial digestion of certain organic chemicals. It is a process in which living organisms like bacteria and microbes are used to remove the noxious substances from the soil.
- MYCOREMEDIATION – By using fungus to metabolize contamination and accumulate heavy metals. It means using fungi for removal of contaminants present in the soil. Fungi have the ability to absorb and settle the pollutants like metals etc.
Nature always gives its feedback. “As you sow, so shall you reap”. If you are giving your efforts to make this nature beautiful, you will find it beautiful. But if you are playing with it and making it hell, then be prepared to tolerate its hazardous results also.
If the soil will be contaminated then the fertility of soil will decrease and the growth of crops and vegetation will be affected. As a result, the land will be converted into a depleted land.
Here we tried to consider what are the causes of soil pollution? and what are the effects of soil pollution? and the most important thing is prevention of soil pollution for our environment from this serious problem.
Humanity needs to know and accept their limits of involvement in nature. It is the nature who has created life on Earth. So, how can we even try to manipulate this nature? Our responsibility is to maintain the balance of nature and also to handle the waste properly.
RESPECT NATURE, NATURE WILL LOVE YOU
HURT NATURE, NATURE WILL LEAVE YOU!!!