Effects Of Soil Pollution

Filed Under (Soil Pollution) by admin on 03-06-2010

Soil Pollution was in the beginning defined as the pollution of soil system where by noteworthy quantities of chemical or other substances, resulted in the turn down of its fertility or output with respect to the yield of crops. Soil pollution differs from water and air pollution, because the contaminants remain in direct contact with the soil for comparatively longer periods and hence change the chemical and genetic properties of soil. The harmful chemicals can also enter the human food chain from land or water plants.

The major sources of pollution of soil include mining, mud, fertilizers, pesticides, composted town refuse etc. Fly ash generated from thermal power plants, industrial wastes dumped into surrounding land, mining wastes, non-biodegradable organic pollutants, and industrial sludge’s etc are the reasons which cause soil pollution. Commercial and domestic urban wastes consisting of dried sewage sludge as well as trash and debris materials such as plastics, metal cans, glasses, street sweepings, waste paper, fibers, rubber etc contribute to soil pollution.

Effects of Soil Pollutants

Different types of soil pollutants have different effect on the nature of soil. Now let’s look into the effect caused by each of these pollutants.

a) Synthetic fertilizers: Excess use of fertilizers destroys the microbial plant life in the soil, thus leading to disturbance of essential processes in soil such as nitrogen fixation.

b) Pesticides are often used to keep away pests which damage the crops produced and often cause soil pollution as they are mostly non environmental. They take many years to degrade and remain as toxic remains in soil. They may also enter marine environment through run off after rain and enter the food chain.

c) Industrial effluents: Solid, liquid and gaseous pollutants from thermal power plants, paper, fertilizer, iron, and steel industry often end up in the soil and cause dreadful conditions of soil due to their toxicity.

d) Urban wastes: wastes generated in urban living areas such as sewage mud, garbage, hospital wastes, plastic bags etc also are a major cause of soil pollution. These wastes tend to build up in soil, support the growth of pathogenic life form and cause diseases. Waste material like plastic tends to remain non biodegradable in soil and affect soil yield.

Effective treatment of household wastes and modern methods of sewage throwing away if implemented, soil pollution can be taken care of. Formulation of rigorous pollution control legislation and its efficient realization is also essential and imparting public awareness programmes to educate people regarding the health hazards of pollution is a must to control soil pollution.

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