Soil Contamination and Pollution

Topics: Pollution, Soil contamination, Noise pollution Pages: 6 (1828 words) Published: December 19, 2012
Soil contamination or soil pollution is caused by the presence of xenobiotic (human-made) chemicals or other alteration in the natural soil environment. It is typically caused by industrial activity, agricultural chemicals, or improper disposal of waste. The most common chemicals involved are petroleum hydrocarbons, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (such as naphthalene and benzo(a)pyrene), solvents, pesticides, lead, and other heavy metals. Contamination is correlated with the degree of industrialization and intensity of chemical usage.

Soil contamination can be caused by:
* Corrosion of underground storage tanks (including piping used to transmit the contents) * Application of pesticides and fertilizers * Mining
* Oil and fuel dumping
* Disposal of coal ash
* Leaching from landfills
* Direct discharge of industrial wastes to the soil
* Drainage of contaminated surface water into the soil
The most common chemicals involved are petroleum hydrocarbons, solvents, pesticides, lead, and other heavy metals. Health effects Contaminated or polluted soil directly affects human health through direct contact with soil or via inhalation of soil contaminants which have vaporized; potentially greater threats are posed by the infiltration of soil contamination into groundwater aquifers used for human consumption, sometimes in areas apparently far removed from any apparent source of above ground contamination. 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. Industrial or man-made concentrations of naturally occurring substances, such as nitrate and ammonia associated with livestock manure from agricultural operations, have also been identified as health hazards in soil and groundwater.[3] Clean up or environmental remediation is analyzed by environmental scientists who utilize field measurement of soil chemicals and also apply computer models (GIS in Environmental Contamination) for analyzing transport[6] and fate of soil chemicals. There are several principal strategies for remediation: * Excavate soil and take it to a disposal site away from ready pathways for human or sensitive ecosystem contact. This technique also applies to dredging of bay muds containing toxins. * Aeration of soils at the contaminated site (with attendant risk of creating air pollution) * Thermal remediation by introduction of heat to raise subsurface temperatures sufficiently high to volatize chemical contaminants out of the soil for vapour extraction. Technologies include ISTD, electrical resistance heating (ERH), and ET-DSPtm. * Bioremediation, involving microbial digestion of certain organic chemicals. Techniques used in bioremediation include landfarming, biostimulation and bioaugmentating soil biota with commercially available microflora. * Extraction of groundwater or soil vapor with an active electromechanical system, with subsequent stripping of the contaminants from the extract. * Containment of the soil contaminants (such as by capping or paving over in place). * Phytoremediation, or using plants (such as willow) to extract heavy metals NOISE POLLUTION: Noise pollution is excessive, displeasing human, animal, or machine-created environmental noise that disrupts the activity or balance of human or animal life. The word noise may be from the Latin word nauseas, which means disgust or discomfort.[1] The source of most outdoor noise worldwide is mainly construction and transportation systems, including motor vehicle noise, aircraft noise, and rail noise.[2][3] Poor urban planning may give rise to noise pollution, since side-by-side industrial...
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