What is Soil Pollution? Causes

Soil pollution as part of Land degradation is caused by the presence of xenobiotics chemicals or other alteration in the natural soil environment. It is typically caused by industrial activity, agricultural chemicals, or improper disposal of waste. The most common chemicals involved are petroleum hydrocarbons, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons such as naphthalene and, solvents, pesticides, lead, and other heavy metals. Contamination is correlated with the degree of industrialization and intensity of chemical substances.

Thus, It refers to anything that causes contamination of soil and degrades the soil quality. It occurs when the pollutants causing the pollution to reduce the quality of the soil and convert the soil inhabitable for microorganisms and macro-organisms living in the soil.

Soil contamination can occur either because of human activities or because of natural processes. However, mostly it is due to human activities. The soil contamination can occur due to the presence of chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides, ammonia, petroleum hydrocarbons, lead, nitrate, mercury, naphthalene, etc in an excess amount.

soil pollution

The primary cause of soil pollution is a lack of awareness in general people. Thus, due to many different human activities such as overuse of pesticides the soil will lose its fertility. Moreover, the presence of excess chemicals will increase the alkalinity or acidity of soil thus degrading the soil quality. This will in turn cause soil erosion. This soil erosion refers to soil pollution.

Causes of Soil Pollution

Soil pollution can be caused by the following (non-exhaustive list)

  • Microplastics.
  • Oil spills.
  • Mining and activities by other heavy industries.
  • Accidental spills may happen during activities, etc.
  • Corrosion of underground storage tanks (including piping used to transmit the contents).
  • Acid rain.
  • Intensive farming.
  • Industrial Pollution
  • Petrochemicals.
  • Industrial accidents.
  • Road debris.
  • Drainage of contaminated surface water into the soil.
  • Waste disposal.
  • Solid Waste.
  • Chlorinated Organic toxins.

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