We are living on a planet which is entitled with limited natural resources. These natural resources are getting exhausted at a very high rate.
When civilization first began on earth, man invented different things but he totally forgot about waste disposal methods which were equivalently increasing at a steady rate too.
As our requirements increased, we damaged our natural resources by exploiting them inappropriately. By natural resources we mean soil, water, forests and air.
Man is the main contributor to widespread pollution on earth because of continuous development and progression, but poor concern for the environment around.
What is soil pollution?
Soil is considered to be a non renewable resource on earth. We are forced to keep soil in the form of its remnants or trash on our lands due to soil pollution.
If we look at land beneath the polluted areas, we can find out to what extent soil is damaged.
We can prevent soil degradation in many ways by geo-chemical methods which help to make soil reusable.
Soil pollution is defined as the concentration of soil by huge amounts of toxic and poisonous substances that contaminate the soil and make it totally unfit for cultivation.
Soil loses its natural vitality and balance of elements, degrading its quality and lending it barren and totally void of essential micro-nutrients.
Soil pollution causes soil contamination and depletion in the natural value of soil, rendering it useless. The soil loses water retaining capacity and is loses balance of essential nutrients and minerals.
Causes of soil pollution
As population is increasing at a very high pace, farmers try to grow particular crops that give them more profit and less time to cultivate.
This undoubtedly helps them to reap benefits easily but it affects the soil quality. It is widely accepted that continuous farming of same crop will degrade the soil quality and the soil bed gradually loses all its nutrients.
As a result, to provide proper nutrition to the seeds, farmers use pesticides and insecticides to give artificial nutrition.
This is bringing down soil quality and damaging elements of the soil as soil will lose the water retaining capability.
This will slowly turn fertile lands into drought prone areas because soil will lose its natural tendency to hold water and retain moisture.
Solution for this would be to include some other crop in between major crop seasons. So, farmers could grow pulses in between major crop seasons which would help to hold the nitrogen contents tightly in the soil.
People never cared about proper waste management. In big cities, even today we find heaps of garbage lying unattended at some of road corners.
People just throw garbage carelessly or place them outside their homes in the hope of a garbage collector working to dispose it in a proper way.
Certainly, it is not taking place as efficiently as it looks. If it was, then we wouldn’t find accumulation of plastic wastes littered here and there on roads.
Every day we dispose millions of tons of waste which gets dumped either on the earth surface or thrown in water bodies or below the ground level.
These wastes, especially plastics never decompose as most of them are non bio-degradable. Now the waste degrades the soil slowly such that the impact is seen after many years.
Industries produce wastes and effluents in abundance which are either thrown into oceans or left free to decay over ground.
Openly dumping wastes is harmful for soil, air or water as they contain toxic elements which are highly toxic and hazardous.
Hazardous gases or chemicals kill useful bacteria and insects that lie beneath the earth’s surface.
Waste materials make soil hard which makes soil unfit for cultivation. Moreover it is harmful for humans too as toxic gases get mixed with air or vegetation which causes diseases or life threatening complications.
Effects of Soil pollution
When soil loses its water holding capacity due to pollution, it becomes unfit for cultivation. Huge lands which were fertile before could carry the risk of turning into barren lands, totally unfit for cultivation.
When soil becomes concentrated with chemicals, it becomes unfit for cultivation.
Such a chemically-high concentrated soil bed usually deteriorates the natural essence of cultivable lands. In the process, crops are destroyed and farming produces are not generated evenly.
When soil cannot retain moisture, large parts of land get washed away when it rains heavily. This is how the forest cover of a country is lost by man-made activities.
Pollution is harmful for economic development. As per recent records, 60% of waste materials have the ability to be recycled if government introduces proper initiatives.
If recycling takes place, then in a scientific manner, garbage also helps to generate profits. Recycling and re-using proves very helpful to the economic growth and generates employment opportunities.
Soil pollution is responsible for soil degradation. This would turn fertile lands into uncultivable, barren lands. Barren lands are naturally unfit for cultivation and no crops can be produced there.
This affects agricultural produce of a country. Low agricultural produces mean direct impact on the GDP of a country. Thus, the prosperity of a country is at stake if we don’t take proper measures to control soil pollution.
Solutions for soil pollution
Scientific studies and evidences have shown the direct effects of pollution. Ecological warriors have come up with a chain of environment friendly solutions. It is a state of emergency to control the decontamination in soil, air and water.
Soil remediation is the best procedure to control impurities in soil or to remove impurities from soil. It totally depends on the land owner to check the soil for presence and percentage of contaminants.
Testing soil conditions will help the owner to decide if the soil is good for growing particular crops or if it is good for building and construction purposes.
Soil remediation should be conducted regularly to control the contamination in soil because if we neglect the impurities in the soil then a building may fall or crops get destroyed due to high level of toxins.
Pesticides are the most common cause of soil pollution. They contain hazardous chemicals which are absorbed by the soil and deliberately bring down the soil quality.
Highly recommended pesticides are organic which are developed in laboratories.
Major issues about soil remediation include the high cost of service. Farmers may belong to different categories of financial and economic classes.
This may be a burden or a boon to farmers depending on their ability to undertake the process of soil remediation.
Advancements and research to control soil pollution are undergoing processes which help lock soil quality and help better retaining of moisture.
The government has taken specific initiatives to educate the rural farmer which helps in direct interaction with the cultivators.
Information about basic remedies regarding soil remediation can be given through radio, newspaper, television.
It is a scientific technique that uses plants to purify the soil. It will not provide instant results but is an eco friendly method to clear the soil from toxins and contaminants.
Phyto-accretion or Phyto-mining uses specific types of plants which purify soil by soaking up heavy metals through their stems and leaves.
When man began exploiting lands for cultivation processes, he was not far-sighted in his approach. He used small pieces of fertile lands, cultivated crops and left them behind after they turned improper for production.
In the modern day, as our standard of living reached higher levels, our necessities also became highly qualitative. For this we damaged nature without controlling its boundaries.
In order to become sophisticated and lead advanced lives, we ignored nature and continue to neglect the development of a healthy and good environment.
Healthy soil is a valuable resource. Best way to maintain the quality of soil is remediation. It will help to decrease the toxic levels in ground.