Definition, Causes, Effects and Control Measures of soil pollution?
Soil pollution is the presence of detrimental chemicals in soil that degrades the quality of soil. The contamination of of soil is harmful for humans, plants, animals and the environment. The presence of toxic chemicals in soil may be due to human activities or natural processes.
Causes of Soil Pollution
• Industrial Pollution
The industrial wastes which are discharged in the soil leads to soil pollution. Industrial activities are increasing rapidly all over the globe which is increasing the degradation of soil. Extraction of minerals from the earth’s surface affects fertility of soil.
• Agricultural Activities
Using excess insecticides and pesticides causes soil pollution. It degrades the quality of soil. They consists of chemicals which reduces the fertility of the soil.
• Acid Rain
Acid rain occurs when the pollutants existing in the air combine with rain. Acid rain can remove some essential nutrients present in the soil and degrade its quality which makes the soil unsuitable for agriculture.
• Waste Disposal
Disposal of waste like plastics and other solid waste into the soil causes soil pollution.
Effects of Soil Pollution
• Effects on Plants
The degradation of soil make it difficult for plants to thrive in such soils. Usage of chemical fertilisers and pesticides decreases the soil quality and leads to poor growncrops. Plants that are grown in contaminated soil grow unhealthy or die shortly.
• Effects on Humans
Humans also receives the side effects of polluted soil. Some of the crops grown on contaminated soil pass through the human body as food or humans may inhale thecontaminated soil dust. Especially, field workers and children that play on
Contaminated soil are prone to the effects of polluted soil such as respiratory diseasesand skin diseases.
• Effects on the Ecosystem
Soil acts as an inhabitant for several microorganisms. Pollution of soil impacts the lives of these living organisms negatively which causes their death.
Control Measures of Soil Pollution
- • Reducing the use of chemical fertilisers will prevent soil pollution. Excess utilisation of fertilisers will harm the soil affecting its pH values rather than making it fertile.
- • Deforestation leads to soil erosion which is the major cause of soil pollution. To overcome this problem, reforestation should be encouraged.
- • Large portion of the waste products are buried into landfills. Recycling the waste products rather than dumping it on the land reduces the contamination of soil.
- • Promoting organic farming techniques and use of organic manure can reduce the use of chemical fertilisers and improve the soil quality.