The air, water and soil are the three important components on the surface of the Earth. Due to these three components living beings exist on this planet.
But due to the greediness of humans, these elements are being misused or used excessively, resulting in wastage of these materials, with the increase in the development of roadways, high rising buildings, excess excavation of soil, water wastage etc.
Soil, one of the important components, is also misused, leading to various soil degradation and pollution problems. Let us study soil pollution and soil contamination which is causing various soil problems.
What is soil pollution?
Before we study soil pollution and its various causes, we need to know what soil pollution is. Soil pollution mainly occurs due to the excess use of chemicals in agriculture and landfills, which turns the natural soil into toxic material.
When the soil has many toxic chemicals in high concentrations, affecting the ecosystem and human life, the phenomenon is called soil pollution.
Soil contamination mainly occurs due to human intervention in the natural type of soil. It does not affect the soil, but if the chemicals are used excessively, it can take away the fertility of the soil.
For example, the increased use of pesticides in the soil causes the soil to become infertile. It causes a huge problem for the farmers who use the land to farm.
What are the different types of soil pollution?
Soil pollution has become one of the major problems in modern society. It is causing a huge problem in the fertility of the soil, and it is always taking away the natural qualities of the soil.
There are different types of soil pollution. They are as follows:
- Soil pollution due to excess agricultural chemicals used. It is one of the major causes of soil pollution.
- Soil pollution due to waste disposal. It occurs due to poor management of waste disposal. The people dump the waste in the soil and leave it. If the waste is organic, it does not cause a huge problem, but if it consists of inorganic material, it is very difficult to break down, causing soil toxicity.
- Soil pollution due to the industrial discharge of chemicals. Many industries dispose of chemicals in the ground, which comes from the mining sites, etc. this dumping of chemicals is harmful to the soil and our health.
- Soil pollution due to urban expansion is also one of the major problems. The cut down of trees to expand the sites results in the loss of land and causes soil pollution.
What are the causes of soil pollution?
There can be many causes of the occurrence of soil pollution. Some of the major causes of soil pollution are as follows:
Excess use of pesticides
The farmers use excess pesticides to kill the pests and increase the growth of the crops. The pesticides may kill the pests, but some of it enters the farm’s vegetables or cereals or rice, and we purchase them from the market. It can affect our health and wellness in various ways.
Maximum wastes are disposed of on barren lands. The excess disposal of the lands causes a huge problem in the soil. Soil pollution can cause a lot of problems. Hence waste disposal also results in soil pollution.
Acid rain mainly occurs due to harmful gases like nitrogen or sulphur when it reacts with oxygen in the air to form harmful acids to the entire ecosystem. If any person gets out during acid rain, it can cause burns.
Like that, when the acid rain falls on the ground, it burns the soil and eliminates the natural soil capacity or qualities.
Industrial pollution is one of the most important and difficult to handle pollutants. Many industries tend to dump toxic and harmful chemicals in the soil. These chemicals can cause a huge problem.
Different effects due to soil pollution
You will find different effects due to soil pollution, as it may cause harm to plants, humans and animals. Soil pollution results in soil degradation. The effects of soil pollution are as follows:
Affects the ecosystem
Soil pollution highly affects the ecosystem. It causes an unbalance in the ecosystem. The soil starts to become less fertile, and a bad impact falls on the microorganisms left in the soil. They die and cannot recycle or change the organic materials into fertilisers.
Effects the life of humans
Soil pollution causes a major problem in human lives. It hampers human health as plants absorb the toxicity of pesticides from the soil, and this food is later cooked and consumed by humans. It causes a very bad effect on the lives of the people.
Bad effect on plants
Plants are essentials in every diet or food chart. The pesticides or other chemicals used in the soil to kill various organisms that can affect the crops; these chemicals and pesticides are absorbed by the plant. It can cause less growth of the plant and does not bear fruit.
Necessary Control Measures
It is essential to stop or minimise soil pollution. Here are some of the necessary control measures of soil pollution:
- Natural pesticides and natural fertilisers should be used in farming.
- Proper management of wastes needs to be done before dumping them on the ground or the soil.
- In mining sites, we should use plant extracts instead of harmful chemicals to extract ores.
- The Industries should thoroughly check the toxic waste before dumping them on the ground.
- Plant excess trees to stop excess erosion of the soil.
We need to save our environment and lives from the harmful effects of toxins and chemicals. Soil is a crucial part of the ecosystem. Our food, house, etc., depends on the type of soil. Humans need to reduce their uses to save these natural elements from getting depleted.
Through this article, we can understand the importance of soil and how important it is to keep it pollution-free.