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Soil Pollution and Its Effects

Although it largely goes unnoticed, soil pollution may become a critical issue for our planet.


Hearing the word “pollution” may cause one to think of plumes of factory smoke or patches of garbage in the ocean. And while both certainly classify as forms of pollution, the list does not end there. Soil pollution has also been on the rise.


Soil pollution occurs when concentrations of pollutants accumulate to a dangerous level in the ground. According to Iberdrola, a renewable energy organization, this pollution can negatively affect the biodiversity of the surrounding area and the surface. 


The most common artificial soil pollutants are those used and handled in environments where they can leak into the ground. These pollutants include fertilizers, pesticides, mining and technological waste, and human or animal wastewater. 


As outlined by Environmental Pollution Centers, natural pollutants can also contribute to soil pollution. Compounds can be naturally produced and accumulated in the ground due to specific atmospheric imbalances.


When these chemicals are released, the surrounding environment can be affected in multiple ways. Iberdrola emphasizes that water pollution, species endangerment and extinction, and desertification are all serious consequences. 


Additionally, climate change is worsened by soil pollution, as it can release harmful carbon dioxide into the air. Humans are also affected by soil pollution. The toxic chemicals that saturate the soil can enter the human body through contaminated crops, affected animals and exposure through the air. Environmental Pollution Centers list the potential symptoms, which range from nausea to liver damage. 


While not something most people think about, soil pollution may become a serious problem for the entire planet.



Sources


“Soil Pollution, Its Effects on Our Future and What We Can Do to Reduce It.” Iberdrola, www.iberdrola.com/sustainability/soil-pollution-causes-effects-solutions. Accessed 29 July 2022.


“What Is Soil Pollution?” Environmental Pollution Centers, www.environmentalpollutioncenters.org/soil/. Accessed 29 July 2022.

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