Soil Pollution and Its Effects

One of the things that is often overlooked by many is soil pollution. This occurs almost everywhere but since the day-to-day activities of man can simply go on despite its pervading presence, it is then left unnoticed. However, while men may have become accustomed to it all, there is a lot of danger that lurks beneath polluted soil.

Soil pollution, also known as soil contamination, is the condition by which the natural environment of the soil is altered due to the presence of chemicals, basically those that are made by humans, along with other elements that cause such an alteration.

Sources of Soil Pollution

Various sources of soil pollution occur in the environment. One such source is corroded underground storage tanks that were no longer closely monitored or maintained. There are also cases when the piping that is attached to these tanks is the source of pollution. Deposits of coal ash are among the sources too. Dumping of various types of oil and fuel on the ground is also among the leading sources of soil pollution, as oil is absorbed deep into the layers of the soil.

Leaching is another cause of soil pollution. This usually occurs in areas where there are landfills. The direct discharge of waste coming from different industries is another contributing factor to soil pollution.

The Effects

Soil pollution causes adverse effects both on health and the environment. Many of the chemicals and other elements that make their way into the ground have been found to produce harmful effects on health either through inhalation of the vapors that come from contaminants or through direct contact. One huge threat to health occurs when these chemicals make their way into groundwater which is utilized for human consumption.

Some of the most potent elements found in soil that are known to affect human health are lead, chromium, petroleum, and many other metals. Those ingredients that are included in the formulation of pesticides were also known to be carcinogens, which can lead to chronic health conditions.

As for the environmental effects, soil pollution can cause plants that grow in polluted areas to absorb molecules coming from pollutants. In turn animals that eat these plants would also get to ingest the molecules that they have absorbed, eventually affecting humans who get to eat these plants and animals in the process.

Soil pollution can cause a lot of adverse health and environmental effects. It is therefore the responsibility of everyone to be extra careful when it comes to preserving the natural composition of the soil.