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Land Pollution


By Rita Putatunda
January 1, 2008


Land pollution is basically about the contamination of the land surface and soil
of the Earth. Read more about it here. Land pollution basically is about
contaminating the land surface of the Earth through dumping urban waste matter
indiscriminately, dumping of industrial waste, mineral exploitation, and
misusing the soil by harmful agricultural practices. Land pollution includes
visible litter and waste along with the soil itself being polluted. The soil
gets polluted by the chemicals in pesticides and herbicides used for
agricultural purposes along with waste matter being littered in urban areas such
as roads, parks, and streets.

Land Pollution Comprises Of: Solid Waste and Soil Pollution

Solid Waste: Semisolid or solid matter that are created by human or animal
activities, and which are disposed because they are hazardous or useless are
known as solid waste. Most of the solid wastes, like paper, plastic containers,
bottles, cans, and even used cars and electronic goods are not biodegradable,
which means they do not get broken down through inorganic or organic processes.

Thus, when they accumulate they pose a health threat to people, plus, decaying
wastes also attract household pests and result in urban areas becoming
unhealthy, dirty, and unsightly places to reside in. Moreover, it also causes
damage to terrestrial organisms, while also reducing the uses of the land for
other, more useful purposes.

Some of the sources of solid waste that cause land pollution are:

Wastes from Agriculture: This comprises of waste matter produced by crop, animal
manure, and farm residues.

Wastes from Mining: Piles of coal refuse and heaps of slag.

Wastes from Industries: Industrial waste matter that can cause land pollution
can include paints, chemicals, and so on.

Solids from Sewage Treatment: Wastes that are left over after sewage has been
treated, biomass sludge, and settled solids.

Ashes: The residual matter that remains after solid fuels are burned.

Garbage: This comprises of waste matter from food that are decomposable and
other waste matter that are not decomposable such as glass, metal, cloth,
plastic, wood, paper, and so on.

Soil Pollution: Soil pollution is chiefly caused by chemicals in pesticides,
such as poisons that are used to kill agricultural pests like insects and
herbicides that are used to get rid of weeds. Hence, soil pollution results from:

Unhealthy methods of soil management.

Harmful practices of irrigation methods.

Land pollution is caused by farms because they allow manure to collect, which
leaches into the nearby land areas. Chemicals that are used for purposes like
sheep dipping also cause serious land pollution as do diesel oil spillages.

What are the Consequences of Land Pollution?

Land pollution can affect wildlife, plants, and humans in a number of ways, such as:

Cause problems in the respiratory system

Cause problems on the skin

Lead to birth defects

Cause various kinds of cancers

The toxic materials that pollute the soil can get into the human body directly by:

Coming into contact with the skin

Being washed into water sources like reservoirs and rivers

Eating fruits and vegetables that have been grown in polluted soil

Breathing in polluted dust or particles

How can Land Pollution be Prevented?

People should be educated and made aware about the harmful effects of littering

Items used for domestic purposes ought to be reused or recycled

Personal litter should be disposed properly

Organic waste matter should be disposed in areas that are far away from residential places

Inorganic matter such as paper, plastic, glass and metals should be reclaimed and then recycled

 

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