Global Consequences of Soil pollution and Contamination

Soil Pollution and Contamination

Soil Pollution and contamination have step by step become a serious challenge that we want to overcome for establishing a healthy environment. Weathering of earth’s crusts by totally different processes results in the formation of soil that accumulates over the centuries. The soil is the home for an outsized part of microorganism biodiversity and different microscopic and macroscopic living organisms.

Soil pollution is outlined as the presence of poisonous chemicals (pollutants or contaminants) in the soil, in high enough concentrations to cause a risk to human health and/or the ecosystem. In the case of contaminants that occur naturally in soil, even when their levels aren't high enough to cause a risk, soil pollution is still said to occur if the degree of the contaminants in soil exceeds the degree that ought to naturally be present.

Soil pollution makes the soil inhabitable for microorganisms and macro organisms living in the soil.

Soil contamination or soil pollution will occur either owing to human activities or as a result of natural processes. However, mostly it is due to human activities. The soil contamination will occur because of the presence of chemicals like pesticides, herbicides, ammonia, crude oil hydrocarbons, lead, nitrate, mercury, naphthalene, etc in an excess amount.


Causes of Soil Pollution

Soil pollution consists of pollutants and contaminants. The main pollutants of the soil are the biological agents and a few of the human activities.

All soils, whether contaminated or uncontaminated, contain a range of compounds (contaminants) that are naturally present. These contaminants include metals, inorganic ions & salts (e.g. phosphates, carbonates, sulfates, nitrates), and lots of organic compounds (such as lipids, proteins, DNA, fatty acids, hydrocarbons, PAHs, alcohols, etc.). These compounds are principally formed through soil microbial activity and decomposition of organisms (e.g., plants and animals). Various compounds get into the soil through the atmosphere, e.g with precipitation water, as well as by wind activity or other types of soil disturbances,  from surface water &  shallow groundwater flowing through the soil. When the amounts of soil contaminants exceed natural levels (what is, of course, present in various soils), pollution is generated. There are two main causes through which soil pollution is generated: anthropogenic (man/human-made) causes and natural (biological) causes. "Soil pollution and Contamination"



Pesticides are synthetic poisonous chemicals that positively kill differing kinds of pests and insects inflicting damage to the agriculture however it has several ecological repercussions.

They are generally insoluble in water and non-biodegradable. Therefore, these chemicals won't gradually decompose and continue accumulating within the soil. Therefore, the concentration of these chemicals can increase once the transfer of these chemicals happens from lower to higher trophic level via the food chain. Hence, it'll cause several metabolic and physiological disorders in humans.



Herbicides will decompose in a span of few months. However, even they have an effect on the environment and aren't environmental friendly. Even though {they are|they're} not as harmful as organo-chlorides however most of the herbicides are toxic. They are known to cause birth defects.

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Recent research shows that spraying herbicides can cause more insect attack and diseases of plants in comparison to manual weeding. One factor to note here is all the above factors occupy simply alittle portion of the causes. Majority of the causes is related to manufacturing activities in chemical and industrial processes that are discharged in nature or surroundings.


Industrial Pollution

The incorrect method of chemical waste disposal from differing kinds of industries can cause contamination of soil. Human activities like this have led to the acidification of soil and contamination because of the disposal of industrial waste, heavy metals, toxic chemicals, dumping oil and fuel, etc.

Urban Activities

Lack of correct waste disposal, regular constructions can cause excessive damage to the soil due to lack of proper drainage and surface run-off. most of the waste disposed of by humans contain chemical waste from residential areas. Moreover leaking of sewerage system can even have an effect on soil quality and cause soil pollution by changing the chemical composition of the soil. "Soil pollution and Contamination"

Inorganic Fertilizers

Excessive use of inorganic nitrogen fertilizers results in acidification of soil and contaminate the agricultural soil. Also known as agrochemical pollution.

Solid Waste

Disposal of plastics, cans, and different solid waste falls into the class of soil pollution. Disposal of an electrical product like batteries causes an adverse impact on the soil because of the presence of harmful chemicals. examples are lithium present in batteries can cause leaching of soil.

Other Possible causes of soil Pollution Includes:

  • Continuous drilling in mineral oil and oil wells.
  • Mining activities to realize the essential minerals got to run heavy industries. Wreckage from mining places in a very close place. Debris from the excavation of minerals like stone, iron, ore, mica, copper, etc., eliminates the fertile power of the soil. Thereby polluting the soil.
  • Accidents arising throughout mining activities like accidents because of accident from oil wells, expansion of oil on land, or during the mining activity for obtaining uranium etc.
  • Leakage from pipes being employed to transmit oil to the refining plants by the tanks being created for underground oil storage.
  • Acid rain carries dangerous levels of pollutants within the air.
  • Ashes born after burning coal.
  • A large amount of electronic waste production.

Effects of Soil Pollution

Pollutants mix in soil and make it toxic and also the chemical changes within the natural form of the soil begin to take place. Soil pollution is a global problem. It causes a harmful impact on the soil and the environment at large. Contamination of soil can decrease the agricultural output of a land. Major soil pollution effects are:

Water Sources Contamination

The surface run-off when raining can carry the contaminated soil and enter into totally different water resource. Thus, it will cause underground water contamination thereby causing pollution. This water after contamination isn't fit for human similarly as animal use because of the presence of toxic  chemicals."Soil pollution and Contamination"


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Inferior Crop Quality

It can decrease the quality of the crop. frequent usage of chemical fertilizers, inorganic fertilizers, pesticides decreases the fertility of the soil rapidly and alter the structure of the soil. This will result in a decrease in soil quality and poor quality of crops. Over the time the soil can diminish productive because of the accumulation of toxic chemicals in great quantity.



Harmful Effect on Human Health

It will increase the exposure to toxic and harmful chemicals, therefore, increasing health threats to individuals living close and on the degraded land. Living, operating or taking part in within the contaminated soil will cause respiratory diseases, skin diseases, and other diseases. Moreover, it can cause other health problems.


Negative Impact on the Ecosystem and Biodiversity

Soil pollution will cause an imbalance of the ecosystem of the soil. The soil is a crucial habitat and is the house of various sort of microorganisms, animals, reptiles, mammals, birds, and insects. Thus, soil pollution will negatively impact the lives of living organisms and might lead to the gradual death of the many organisms. It will cause health threats to animals grazing within the contaminated soil or microorganisms residing within the soil.


Diseases Caused by Soil Pollution

Humans are often stricken by soil pollution through the inhalation of gases emitted from soils moving upward, or through the inhalation of matter that is disturbed and transported by the wind due to the varied human activities on the ground. Soil pollution might cause a range of health issues, starting with headaches, nausea, fatigue, skin rash, eye irritation and potentially resulting in more serious conditions like a neuromuscular blockage, kidney and liver damage and various forms of cancer. "Soil pollution and Contamination"


How to Prevent Soil Pollution

There is a necessity to create demanding rules for reducing soil pollution and preventing it fully. Considering the extensive effects of soil pollution, control over it is absolutely necessary. The existence of animal kingdom and plant world relies on soil. The soil is the wealth of the farmers; its deprivation of properties is not only a loss to farmers but to the country’s economy, human health, organisms, and vegetation too.

Certainly, there's a necessity to adopt strict rules to regulate soil pollution, some of which are as follows:

  1. Domestic waste control

Soil pollution is increasing because of accumulation of domestic waste. There is a necessity to work according to a well-planned strategy. Most food in household waste is organic waste; to manage it, we should store our food more efficiently in the refrigerator. In this manner, we will cut back the waste of food as well as cut back the production of organic waste and stop these harmful substances from entering into the soil.

  1. Proper disposal of industrial waste
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Chemical pollutants are found in massive quantities in industrial wastes, which have a large role in polluting the soil. There is a necessity to create strict rules for correct disposal of industrial waste and guarantee strict adherence to them. The garbage from the factories ought to be sent to the purifying plants 1st and they ought to be immersed only after correct treatment.

  1. Recycling and Reuse

To reduce the production of soil pollutants, it's necessary that we concentrate on the recycling and reuse of the things. For example, if you want to throw furniture or other properties from your house in the trash, then you should also look for prospects through which you can modify and reuse that furniture.

Like the piece of furniture, we can recycle many waste products in the house, and we can reduce the production of garbage and prevent soil pollution. By throwing domestic waste into lowland sites, we unintentionally increase the amount of carbon in the soil, which is a major factor in soil pollution. Recycling and re-use for the protection of soil is extremely necessary. "Soil pollution and Contamination"


Other measures

  1. Limit the use of chemicals in life and adopt Integrated Pest Management.
  2. Integrated Plant Nutrient Management should be adopted In the place of chemical fertilizers
  3. Use of chemicals like gypsum and pyrites as recommended by scientists for the improvement of salinity-rich soil.
  4. The construction and implementation of the schemes needed to guard the land that is destroyed by floods is important.
  5. Soil erosion ought to be prevented by forbidding forest erosion and adopting conservation systems to safeguard its nutrients.
  6. In order to beat the water logging in farms, arrangements for drainage are very essential.
  7. Land use regulations including zoning can reduce the problem of land erosion.
  8. It is completely essential to concentrate on land utilization and crop management.



Human activities are answerable for the majority of the soil pollution. We as humans purchase things that are harmful and not necessary, use agricultural chemicals (fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, etc.), drop waste here and there. Without being aware we harm our own environment.

Therefore, it's important to teach individuals around you the importance of environment if they're not aware. Thus, it's our little steps and activities that can help us to realize a healthier planet for us. Therefore, it's essential for industries, people and businesses to know the importance of soil and stop soil pollution and stop the devastation caused to plant and animal life. "Soil pollution and Contamination"



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