SOIL POLLUTION PDF
Soil Pollution: a hidden reality. Rome, FAO. pp. The designations employed and the presentation of material in this information product do not imply the. GLOBAL SYMPOSIUM ON SOIL POLLUTION | OUTCOME DOCUMENT . drivers of soil pollution in different land uses; 2) the assessment of negative impacts. PDF | World Soil Day was established in by the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) to celebrate the importance of soil and its vital.
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PDF | Soil contamination has severely increased over the last years, especially due to petroleum hydrocarbons, heavy metals and pesticides from industrial. and chemical processes assist in the formation of the soil, (e.g. environmental pollution: → soil acidification, releases, etc.) FACTORS OF SOIL FORMATION (4) . Mark Hodson, Soil pollution and its impact on soil life. 2. Structure. • Sources of soil pollution. • How wide spread is the problem? • When is a pollutant a problem.
The most common chemicals involved are petroleum hydrocarbons , solvents , pesticides, lead , and other heavy metals. Any activity that leads to other forms of soil degradation erosion , compaction , etc. Historical deposition of coal ash used for residential, commercial, and industrial heating, as well as for industrial processes such as ore smelting , were a common source of contamination in areas that were industrialized before about Coal naturally concentrates lead and zinc during its formation, as well as other heavy metals to a lesser degree.
When the coal is burned, most of these metals become concentrated in the ash the principal exception being mercury. In addition to lead, coal ash typically contains variable but significant concentrations of polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons PAHs; e. Coal ash and slag can be recognised by the presence of off-white grains in soil, gray heterogeneous soil, or coal slag bubbly, vesicular pebble-sized grains.
Treated sewage sludge , known in the industry as biosolids , has become controversial as a " fertilizer ". As it is the byproduct of sewage treatment, it generally contains more contaminants such as organisms, pesticides, and heavy metals than other soil.
The volume is expected to double to , tons of dry solids in This has good agricultural properties due to the high nitrogen and phosphate content. A pesticide may be a chemical substance, biological agent such as a virus or bacteria , antimicrobial, disinfectant or device used against any pest.
Pests include insects, plant pathogens, weeds, mollusks, birds, mammals, fish, nematodes roundworms and microbes that compete with humans for food, destroy property, spread or are a vector for disease or cause a nuisance.
Although there are benefits to the use of pesticides, there are also drawbacks, such as potential toxicity to humans and other organisms. They are similar to auxins and most are biodegradable by soil bacteria. However, one group derived from trinitrotoluene D and T have the impurity dioxin, which is very toxic and causes fatality even in low concentrations. Another herbicide is Paraquat.
It is highly toxic but it rapidly degrades in soil due to the action of bacteria and does not kill soil fauna.
The insects damage not only standing crops but also stored ones and in the tropics it is reckoned that one third of the total production is lost during food storage. As with fungicides , the first insecticides used in the nineteenth century were inorganic e.
Paris Green and other compounds of arsenic. Nicotine has also been used since the late eighteenth century. They are cheap to produce, potent and persistent. DDT was used on a massive scale from the s, with a peak of 72, tonnes used Then usage fell as the harmful environmental effects were realized. It was found worldwide in fish and birds and was even discovered in the snow in the Antarctic.
It is only slightly soluble in water but is very soluble in the bloodstream. It affects the nervous and endocrine systems and causes the eggshells of birds to lack calcium causing them to be easily breakable. It is thought to be responsible for the decline of the numbers of birds of prey like ospreys and peregrine falcons in the s — they are now recovering. As it has low water solubility, it tends to stay at the water surface, so organisms that live there are most affected.
DDT found in fish that formed part of the human food chain caused concern, but the levels found in the liver, kidney and brain tissues was less than 1 ppm and in fat was 10 ppm, which was below the level likely to cause harm. Organophosphates , e. Parathion is highly toxic, methyl-parathion is less so and Malathion is generally considered safe as it has low toxicity and is rapidly broken down in the mammalian liver. This group works by preventing normal nerve transmission as cholinesterase is prevented from breaking down the transmitter substance acetylcholine, resulting in uncontrolled muscle movements.
There is little published evidence on this type of contamination largely because of restrictions placed by governments of many countries on the publication of material related to war effort.
However, mustard gas stored during World War II has contaminated some sites for up to 50 years  and the testing of Anthrax as a potential biological weapon contaminated the whole island of Gruinard. This tends to result in the development of [List of pollution-related diseases pollution-related diseases] Health consequences from exposure to soil contamination vary greatly depending on pollutant type, pathway of attack and vulnerability of the exposed population.
Chronic exposure to chromium , lead and other metals, petroleum, solvents, and many pesticide and herbicide formulations can be carcinogenic, can cause congenital disorders , or can cause other chronic health conditions. Urbanization Humans have been making permanent settlements for at least 10, years and, short of some major accident or natural disaster, most of the cities and towns we've created, and the infrastructure that keeps them running, will remain with us for thousands more years into the future.
Not many of us would automatically classify cities and other human settlements as "land pollution"; people obviously need to live and work somewhere. Even so, urbanization marks a hugely important change to the landscape that can cause land pollution in a variety of subtle and not-so-subtle ways.
Chart: Urbanization goes hand-in-hand with other changes in land use, such as deforestation. In , the world had about 96 percent as much forested area as it had in —a huge loss of forest in total. This chart shows 15 example countries that have either gained forest green or lost it orange , with the world total shown in the middle yellow.
For each country, the bar shows the percentage of forest area in compared to , so percent would be no change. Drawn by explainthatstuff. With over 7. Our impact on the planet extends much further than urbanization might suggest.
Way back in , Herbert Girardet estimated that London, England has an ecological footprint area of land needed to support it some times bigger than the city itself .
Add up that effect for every major city in the world and you get an idea of how big an impact urbanization has had. Today's figures are staggering.
According to the Global Footprint Network, the ecological footprint of most countries what they use hugely exceeds their biocapacity what they can produce : in the United States, the ecological footprint per person is 2. One of the problems of urbanization is that, by concentrating people, it concentrates their waste products at the same time.
So, for example, crudely disposing of sewage from a big city automatically creates water or land pollution, where the same number of people and the same volume of sewage might not create a problem if it were created in 10 smaller cities or small towns. Concentration is always a key factor when we talk about pollution. Having said that, it's important to remember that urbanization, when it works, can also help people to live very efficiently. Thus, New York has the lowest ecological footprint of any state in the USA, largely because people there have smaller homes and make greater use of public transportation .
Photo: Greenfield to brownfield: This once-green field will soon be a large housing estate. People need homes to live in, but they also need green spaces—and agricultural land to feed them. Agricultural chemicals Those of us who are lucky enough to live in rich countries take our basic survival for granted: aside from trips to the grocery store, we don't worry about where our food comes from or how it gets to us.
The reality is that seven billion hungry people consume a vast amount of food. Feeding the world on such a scale is only possible because agriculture now works in an industrial way, with giant machines such as tractors and combine harvesters doing the work that hundreds of people would have done in the past, and chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides herbicides that kill weeds and insecticides that kill bugs increasing the amount of food that can be grown on each piece of land.
Unfortunately, most pesticides are by definition poisons, and many remain in the soil or accumulate there for years. One infamous and now widely banned pesticide, DDT , is not ordinarily biodegradable so it has remained in the environment ever since it was first used in the midth century and even spread to such places as Antarctica .
DDT is just one of many organic carbon-based chemicals that remain in the environment for years or decades, known as persistent organic pollutants. Atmospheric deposition Air pollution doesn't remain air pollution forever. Ideally it disperses, so the concentration of problematic chemicals becomes so low that it no longer constitutes pollution. Sometimes, though, it falls back to the ground and becomes either water pollution if it enters the oceans, rivers , and lakes or land pollution.
Pollution created "deposited" in water or land from existing pollution in the air atmosphere is known as atmospheric deposition. Land can become polluted by deposition in some very unexpected ways. For example, a corridor of land either side of a highway or freeway becomes systematically polluted over time with all kinds of harmful byproducts of road travel—everything from fuel spills and brake linings to dust worn from the pavement and heavy metal deposits such as lead washed from the engines.
These chemicals accumulate in the soil where they can undergo reactions with one another and form substances that are even more toxic . Two important things are worth noting about atmospheric deposition. First, it means no land on Earth—not even the most isolated island—can be considered completely safe from pollution: even if it's hundreds or thousand miles from the nearest factory or human settlement, even if no human has ever lived there, it could still be polluted from the air.
Second, if you're doing something that causes pollution maybe spreading weedkiller on your garden or perhaps running a factory where ash is discharged from a smokestack , the effects are not necessarily going to be confined to the place where the pollution is first produced.
It's important to remember that pollution knows no boundaries. Soil erosion Photo: Soil erosion turns fields into deserts. If you define "land pollution" as irreversible damage to the land, you have to include soil erosion as a type of pollution too.
Many people think soil is soil, always there, never changing, ever ready to grow whatever crops we choose to bury in it. In reality, soil is a much more complex growing habitat that remains productive only when it is cared for and nurtured. Too much wind or water, destruction of soil structure by excessive plowing, excessive nutrients, overgrazing, and overproduction of crops erode soil, damaging its structure and drastically reducing its productivity until it's little more than dust.
At its worst, soil erosion becomes desertification: once-productive agricultural areas become barren, useless deserts. How serious is the problem? In , former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan warned the world that: "Drought and desertification threaten the livelihood of over 1 billion people in more than countries around the world. Deforestation doesn't only harm the place where the trees are cut down. A study by Princeton University researchers found that if the Amazon rainforest were completely destroyed, it would have a dramatic effect on the atmosphere, which would carry across to places like the United States, causing drought and potentially desertification there as well .
Unfortunately, because soil erosion has so far affected developing countries more than the developed world, it's a problem that receives relatively little attention. Accelerating climate change will soon alter that. In a future of hotter weather and more intense storms, it will become increasingly difficult to maintain soil in a fertile and productive state, while heavy rainstorms and flash floods will wash away topsoil more readily.
Meanwhile, agriculture may become impossible in coastal areas inundated by saltwater carried in by rising sea levels. We might think of global warming as an example of air pollution because it's caused mostly by humans releasing gases such as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
But if it leads to dramatic sea-level rise and coastal erosion, you could argue that it will become an example of land pollution as well. Effects of land pollution With luck and the right atmospheric conditions, air and water pollution disperse and disappear. What makes land pollution such a problem is that land is static, so land pollution stays exactly where it is until and unless someone cleans it up.
Causes of land pollution
Land that's polluted stays polluted; land that's urbanized almost invariably stays urbanized. As we've already see, plastics take hundreds of years to disappear while radiation can contaminate land for ten times longer.
That means landfill sites and radioactive waste dumps remain that way pretty much indefinitely. The simplest effect of land pollution is that it takes land out of circulation.
The more land we use up, the less we have remaining. That might not sound a problem where there's plenty of land in rural areas, but it's certainly a concern where productive agricultural land is concerned, especially as the world's population continues to increase.
The biggest problem comes when contaminated land is returned to use, either as building or agricultural land. Houses might be built on brownfield former industrial sites that haven't been cleaned up properly, putting future owners and their families at risk. Or people might get their water from rivers supplied by groundwater contaminated by landfill sites, mine workings, or otherwise polluted land some distance away. Illnesses such as cancer develop over years or decades for a variety of reasons and it's extremely difficult to prove that they've been caused by something like local environmental pollution, especially when people move homes during their lifetime.
No-one knows how much land is contaminated, how contamination varies from one place to another, or how land contaminants react with one another once they enter watercourses and become water pollution.
So the scale of the problem and its ultimate effects are impossible to determine. However, we do know what effect individual pollutants have. We know, for example, that lead is a toxic heavy metal that has all kinds of unpleasant effects on human health; it's been implicated in developmental deficits such as reductions in intelligence in children .
We know that some chemicals are carcinogenic cancer-causing  while others cause congenital defects such as heart disease . At the very least, it seems prudent not to introduce dangerous chemicals, such as persistent organic pollutants, into the environment where they may mat harm people's health for many years into the future.
Why does land pollution matter? Although Earth might seem a pretty big place, only about a third of its surface is covered in land, and there are now over seven billion people trying to survive here.A study by Princeton University researchers found that if the Amazon rainforest were completely destroyed, it would have a dramatic effect on the atmosphere, which would carry across to places like the United States, causing drought and potentially desertification there as well .
About this book Introduction Despite having been published about two years ago for the first time, the continuous demand for this book encouraged me to prepare this revised and enlarged edition.
Environmental Bioengineering, McCauley, A. Cu Root 5. Transformation of pollutants and metabolite accumulation in soils 5. Soil pollutants can contaminate water: water infiltration is the movement of water from the soil surface into the soil profile and soil is a valuable resource that support cultures and plant life.
Environmental Perspectives of Vetiveria Zizanioides L. This water drains directly into rivers and sea, without receiving treatment. Distribution, transport and fate of pollutants 3.