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. There are many different ways of permanently changing the land, from soil contamination; poisoning by chemicals or waste, to general urbanization. Some, such as huge landfills or quarries, are very obvious; others, such as atmospheric deposition, where land becomes contaminated when air pollution falls onto it, are much less apparent. Let's consider the main causes and types of land pollution in turn. Soil contamination results when hazardous substances are either spilled or buried directly in the soil or migrate to the soil from a spill that has occurred elsewhere. For example, soil can become contaminated when small particles containing hazardous substances are released from a smokestack and are deposited on the surrounding soil as they fall out of the air. Another source of soil contamination could be water that washes contamination from an area containing hazardous substances and deposits the contamination in the soil as it flows over or through it. This will cause harm on humans and other living things. How does it hurt animals, plants and humans? Contaminants in the soil can hurt plants when they attempt to grow in contaminated soil and take up the contamination through their roots. Contaminants in the soil can adversely impact the health of animals and humans when they ingest, inhale, or touch contaminated soil, or when they eat plants or animals that have themselves been affected by soil...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document