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Soil Pollution

Updated on February 25, 2013

What is Soil Pollution

Soil pollution refers to the contamination of the soil by means of excess fertilizers, chemicals, insecticides, herbicides, pesticides, etc. Soil pollution results in the decreased quality of soil and is caused by soil erosion, excess or deficit of moisture content, decrease in plant nutrients or soil microorganisms, and high fluctuation of temperature.

Soil pollution, in a way, also leads to air pollution and water pollution. Soil pollution naturally leads to air pollution by releasing such compounds into the atmosphere which are likely to explode. Soil pollution also contributes to water pollution if poisonous substances percolate into ground water, or if contaminated overflow reaches streams, lakes, or oceans.

Soil Pollution
Soil Pollution

Sources of Soil Pollution

There are various sources that lead to soil pollution. The major sources of soil pollution include – deforestation, forest fires, soil erosion, volcanic eruption, excess use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, etc., and dumping of industrial and urban wastes.

Effects of Soil Pollution

Soil pollution adversely affects the human beings as well as animals, as it results in decreased agricultural production and the consequent food shortage. The chemical fertilizers and pesticides that are used to increase agricultural production not only degrade the soil due to their excess use, but also enter the food chain and affect the health of the people who consume that food.

Ways to prevent Soil Pollution

Control of soil pollution is very essential so as to prevent human life. To prevent soil pollution, the following measures are very effective:

  1. Integrated Pest Management should be adopted.
  2. Industrial and urban wastes should be disposed off properly.
  3. The use of DDT (dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane) should be restricted.
  4. Farmers should be educated about the harmful effects of the excessive use of chemical fertilizers and other farming practices that are harmful to the soil.
  5. Organic farming practices should be encouraged.
  6. Stress should be laid on crop management and land use.

Thus, it is very important to take appropriate measures for controlling and preventing soil pollution for the betterment of animal as well as human life.

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