Soil Pollution Causes and Effects
Hazardous human activities have polluted soil in multiple ways. Plants depend on top soil layers to derive their nourishment. Being naturally porous, soil allows rainwater to seep through preventing the possibility of floods. Plants produce food through photosynthesis, a crucial process for sustaining life. Plants also release tons of oxygen into the atmosphere, a gas vital for our survival. They remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, acting as natural air purifiers. Any disturbance to soil fertility will lead to death of plants, in turn throwing the entire ecosystem out of gear.
Causes for soil pollution:
• Excessive and indiscriminate usage of pesticides, fertilizers and insecticides has decreased soil's fertility.
• Industries and factories release toxic wastes and chemicals affecting soil integrity.
• Improper agricultural practices have led to erosion of top soil layers.
• Deforestation has caused removal of nutrient rich soil layers, decreasing soil fertility.
• Garbage dumped in wastelands has caused hazardous chemicals, non-degradable material and toxic substances to rot, causing soil contamination.
Effects of soil pollution:
• A decrease in soil fertility affects plants growth. This in turn has led to a decrease in food production, fueling food crisis the word over.
• Improper irrigation techniques have caused flooding of filthy water leading to spread of numerous diseases.
• Release of toxic effluents into the ground has caused a number of toxic gases to emanate from the soil layers making it impossible for people or animals to live nearby.
• Plants growing on polluted soil absorb dangerous chemicals. Animals eating these plants die due to food poisoning. Humans who consume such plants are equally affected.
• Toxic gases and fumes escaping from the soil and reaching the atmosphere have caused acid rains.