Soil pollution is a condition in which soil become rich in pollutants, contaminants and toxic materials and it poses threat to human life, agriculture, animals and other macro and microorganisms. In other words, soil pollution is the beginning of death of soil, failing to sustain any kind of production in terms of agriculture and wildlife on it. Arable land turns into desert land and threats food security ultimately.
Reasons of Soil Pollution
The reason of soil pollution is both natural and man-made. Global warming, climate change are regarded as natural factors of soil pollution while, excess usage of fertilizers, pesticides, weedicides and herbicides is damaging the natural order of soil, thus polluting it and making it weak. It is a global phenomenon that soils are becoming less and less productive and fertile due to degrading organic matter.
Natural Causes of Soil Pollution
Among many, common natural causes of soil pollution is the natural amassing of compounds in soil resulting from imbalances between atmospheric deposition and leaking away with precipitation water. This is common in arid environments where concentration and accumulation of per-chlorate in soils results in soil pollution.
In some cases, thunderstorm also creates environment for soil pollution. This happens when chlorine source or metallic objects present in the soil use energy generated from thunderstorm to generate per-chlorate in the soil.
Man-made Causes of Soil Pollution
- Accident leaks and spills.
- Mining activities.
- Agricultural activities resulting in release of pesticide, fertilizer etc.
- Transport activities releasing toxic smoke and emissions.
- Cracked paint chips.
- The storage of waste in landfills.
Soil Erosion Causing Death of Soil to Sustain Agriculture
Soil erosion is another factor causing soil pollution. The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) stated recently that 75 billion tons of soil which is almost equivalent to 10 million hectares of land is lost due to erosion, water-logging and salination annually. On top of it, additional 20 million hectares of land is abandoned and not under any cultivation due to poor quality soil and degradation.