The leading cause of soil pollution is human activity. For a long time, humans have gradually polluted the soil more so after the industrial revolution. This is the part of history where humans developed machines that would help them in realizing their dream of manufacturing at a cheaper cost compared to manual labor. It was a great development for people, but it caused a majority of problems for man and the environment. The leading causes of soil pollution include but are not limited to chemical usage in agriculture, burying of nuclear waste, dumping of non-biodegradable waste, industrial accidents leading to the release of hazardous agents to the soil and water containing waste including acid rain that contaminates agricultural land. The essence of studying this topic and uncovering the measures to reduce pollution is to eradicate many health issues a...
nd keep the planet safe for future generations.
The world will only be safe if issues relating to environmental pollution are effective dealt with. As the human population increased in the 19th century, many people began moving to urban centers to look for work and amenities. This increased population caused a stretch on available resources especially toilets and waste disposal facilities. In turn, this led to outbreaks of diseases such as cholera that killed very many people. According to (Markham, 1994) by the 1800s, people began to understand that unsanitary living conditions and water contamination contributed to disease epidemics. This caused authorities in these large cities to take notice and began putting in place measures to control waste disposal. However, a larger problem facing them was the waste released from the booming industries at the time. These factories
released much of their waste into the nearest rivers making them highly polluted. This caused an abundance of problems since some of these rivers held aquatic life. Also, some of them were sources of water and people drunk unaware of the harmful effects they were exposing themselves. This water also drained into the soil and spread to far off areas contaminating farmlands and the crops grown in these areas. A lot of people became sick others even dying because of exposure to these chemicals. Studying the topic will come up with the alternatives that can be implemented to deal with waste disposals in rivers and oceans.
During the 19th and part of the 20th centuries, the major source of energy both for domestic and industrial use was coal. This coal was extensively mined and caused a lot of soil to be displaced especially surface mining. However the biggest problem was the deposition of the coal ash which contains high amounts of lead and when this ash was dumped the metal leaked into the soil contaminating it. However as we moved towards the 21st century, the sources of energy shifted away from coal towards other conventional options. The most controversial source of energy is nuclear energy. This energy is produced when nuclei are split in a process called nuclear fission that creates an endless source of energy. This is a very viable alternative seeing as it is a renewable source of energy but the problem is the disposal of nuclear waste which takes a very long time to decay sometimes millions of years. Most of the nuclear waste are buried underground but sometimes it leaks and escapes
into the soil. This becomes a major soil pollution challenge. An example is the Chernobyl nuclear accident, which caused the death of many plants, animals, and people in the surrounding areas. The presence of nuclear material in the soil has a chain effect as the waste is absorbed by the plants which are eaten by animals such as cows which are in turn consumed by people. Through studying the topic, the public will be enlightened on the effects of using sources that pollute the environment and initiate a campaign to invent safer and more environment-friendly sources of energy.
As the world experiences a burst in population, the demand for food also increases exponentially. This causes pressure on the already dwindling agricultural areas to cater for this high demand. Therefore, it is a requirement to produce more on a smaller scale, and the option is genetically modified food as well as the use of chemical pesticides. According to NaturalNews (2016), genetically modified foods degrade and deplete soils of vital minerals and beneficial bacteria, which protect crops from pests, viruses, and other harmful elements. Besides, it has been found out that genetically modified foods require more herbicides and pesticides, which contaminate the soil and damage other natural plants.
Another major cause of soil pollution is the disposal of non-biodegradable waste such as plastic bags and electronics. In many countries, waste is deposited into landfills or deposited on the seabed. Most of these materials do not decay; therefore, soil continuously accumulates corrupting elements. In some developing countries, there are no proper channels for waste disposal thus dumping carelessly everywhere results to polluting the soil. There has been some advancement in
this sector as some countries have banned the use of plastic bags. In some countries, adoption of plastic bags that are biodegradable has been advocated.
If we are to find a way forward, we have to look back and see where we have gone wrong as well as the measures we can take to tackle this issue of soil pollution. According to Uberoi (2003), if we do not mitigate the effects of soil pollution we might end up with a serious pandemic as food supplies dwindle and agriculture becomes unsustainable. This will directly affect us as worldwide starvation becomes a reality and this, in turn, might lead to conflicts over scarce resources. Some nations are taking up measures to fight pollution with international treaties being put in place to curb waste disposal and reduce waste emissions. It is also important to study soil pollution to find the best way to contain the impact in case of accidents like oil spills and engage in research in the best practices to reverse already polluted lands to make them productive again.
In conclusion, since the earliest days of mankind, we have been polluting our environment by disposing of waste without caring about its effect. As our population increased with technological advancement more forms of waste products appeared that were harmful not only to the environment but also directly to humans. The occurrence of many diseases is on the increase as we absorb many of these pollutants into our bodies. According to Merian and Nu?rnberg (1988), an increase in carcinogenic materials in the soil has increased the number of cancer victims in the world making it one of the leading causes
of death. Some nonreversible defects have also been observed. It is, therefore, prudent for humans to come up with ways to reduce the amount of soil pollution occurring and try and reverse some of that which has already occurred. The soil is life. Therefore, its pollution also indirectly affects other areas such as water and the air as the pollutants leak into the waterways and some through vaporization into the atmosphere we inhale it.
- Markham, A. (1994). A brief history of pollution. New York: St. Martin's Press.
- NaturalNews, (2016). Seven ways GMO toxicity affects animals, plants and soil. Retrieved 3
March 2016, from http://www.naturalnews.com/038792_GMO_toxicity_digestion_cancer.html#
- Merian, E., & Nu?rnberg, H. (1988). Carcinogenic and mutagenic metal compounds 2. New York:
Gordon and Breach Science Publishers.
- Uberoi, N. (2003). Environmental management. New Delhi: Excel Books.
- Environment Pollution essays
- Plastic Pollution essays
- Atmosphere essays
- Biodiversity essays
- Coral Reef essays
- Desert essays
- Earth essays
- Ecosystem essays
- Forest essays
- Lake essays
- Natural Environment essays
- Ocean essays
- Oxygen essays
- Rainbow essays
- Sea essays
- Soil essays
- Volcano essays
- Water essays
- Wind essays