Land pollution is the deposition of solid or liquid water on the land or underground in a manner that contaminates the soil and groundwater.
Moreover, it threatens the health of the people and causes various other problems.
Often, when we talk about the horrors of land and water pollution, the creation is stronger because the effects can be easily seen.
However, the effects of land pollution are horrible as well.
We may not be able to see the effects of land pollution, however, we are abusing it daily. Moreover, it has emerged to be one of the serious concerns that we as humans are suffering from.
Land pollution in simple words is the degradation of the surface of the Earth or soil.
It can either be directly or indirectly and is due to human activities like improper disposal of solid waste or disposing of waste.
This means that we are reducing the quality of the land which is an ideal place for agriculture, forestation, and construction, etc.
The degradation of land is therefore leading to less quality of agriculture, deforestation, etc.
Land pollution has led to a series of issues and including:
- an increasing number of infertile land
- the exploitation of land due to increasing population
- an increase in landfill
- soil erosion
This article sums up the causes, effects, and solutions to land pollution.
Causes of Land Pollution
Land pollution is one of the major concerns and is due to many factors.
Moreover, human activity in the form of deforestation, extensive agriculture, etc is causing it.
Some of the main causes are soil erosion, deforestation, mining activities, urbanization, sewage treatment, littering, etc.
Industrialization, as well as nuclear waste, is also causing an increase in land pollution.
Let’s discuss these as follows:
Deforestation and Soil Erosion
Deforestation leads to the drying of land and once land becomes infertile the process cannot be reversed.
Another cause of infertility of land is conversion or modification of properties of the soil to use it for specific purposes.
Moreover, there is a constant waste of land, and then there is a hunt for new fertile land which is then changed according to the needs.
It thus compromises the fertile state of the soil and is no longer able to produce agriculture and vegetation.
With the increasing world population, there is an increase in demand for food.
This is replacing forests and grasslands with farmland. Natural vegetation has deep roots within the soil and with replacement, it leads to soil erosion.
This leads to worse floods as the land has no longer the ability to absorb excess water or rainfall.
Moreover, it allows an easy runoff of fertilizers and other chemicals.
When these chemicals reach the soil through the roots of the plants, it not only kills the unwanted organisms and plants but also the ones that are beneficial for the growth of the plants.
This chemical composition upsets the natural balance of life causing different problems.
Industrial activities release toxic waste material and water either on land or into the atmosphere.
While most developed countries regulate waste management, dumping, and emissions, it does not safeguard the atmosphere.
For instance, heavy metals in industries bring about harmful changes in the composition of the soil.
Moreover, to meet the food demands of the growing populations, deforestation is leading to changes in the atmosphere.
Fertilizers for intensive agriculture and chemicals released by industries are highly toxic and thus, leads to soil contamination.
Urbanization leads to land degradations in different ways include negatively affecting the construction of soil leading to the extinction of animal species and habitats and high demand for waste disposal meaning larger spaces for landfills.
Moreover, with more people, more use of energy sources and exhaustion of fossil fuels leads to an increase in carbon footprint and CO2 emissions, thus increasing air pollution.
Landfills and Waste
Every year, each household produces tons of garbage.
It includes plastic, paper, cloth, wood, aluminum, and other items. Items that are not recyclable are sent to landfills and are often present in the residential areas.
Moreover, landfill liners are not foolproof, and the liquid leaches from them is toxic.
These liners deteriorate with time and this highly toxic liquid seeps into the fertile land.
Thus it disrupts the natural balance of the soil and causes degradation.
Moreover, nuclear waste from nuclear power plants is also highly toxic and is stored in double-shelled tanks.
When dumping this radioactive waste, the toxins leach into the land, causing cancer-causing isotopes.
It not only affects the land, but plants, animals, and eventually humans.
Effects of Land Pollution
Effects of land pollution are as follows:
Groundwater Poisoning: Harmful waste from the industries seeps down in the soil and end up in underground water systems,
This process, leaching has harmful effects on agriculture, land, animals, and even humans,
Water Problems: Drinking water is majorly affected by land pollution.
About 50%of the world’s population does not have access to safe drinking water.
Moreover, it leads to life-threatening diseases like Hepatitis C and causes up to 10 million deaths.
Water Nutrient Enrichment: Chemicals on farms and plants then end up in water supplies like lakes or rivers cause harm to them.
They not only contaminate the fish but also causes different health problems in humans who consume them.
Moreover, as heavy nutrient water ends up in rivers it saps up most oxygen in the water and leaves little for marine life.
This water is unable to support the life form in water thus creating dead zones.
Other Issues: Some other issues are increasing temperature, acid rains.
Moreover, the discharge of chemicals on land makes it dangerous for the ecosystem.
When animals and plants consume them, it causes a serious threat to ecology, leading to biomagnification.
Other Effects of Land Pollution
Some other effects of land pollution are:
When there is an increase in the process of deforestation, the tree cover is compromised.
This leads to an imbalance in the precipitation cycle and it affects other variables associated with it.
With deforestation, global warming increases, there is also an increase in greenhouse effects, irregular rainfalls, and flash floods.
With land contamination with toxic chemicals and pesticides, there is a potential threat of problems like skin cancer, respiratory issues, etc.
Moreover, around 9,500 people in the world suffer from skin cancer because when these toxic chemicals reach your system, they cause cancer-producing cells,
It also causes development deficiency in children leads to impairment in the cognitive abilities of the child.
Solutions to Land Pollution
We all can reduce the effects of land pollution on agriculture, plants, animals, fish, and even humans and take the steps like developed countries such as the United States, the U.K., etc. These steps are as follows:
By making people aware of 3Rs, i.e. reduce, reuse, and recycle, we can reduce the increasing waste amount on land.
Reducing the use of non-biodegradable products will lower plastic pollution and eventually have an impact on land pollution.
This is why it is very important to reuse and recycle every possible item.
Sustainable agriculture is essential as it helps to control the impact on the cultivated environment, by minimizing the external contributions of phytosanitary products.
Moreover, by diversifying the cultures, and by using biological treatments.
Resuing materials help to reduce the need for harvesting materials.
Reducing the use of herbicides and fertilizers in agriculture activities can protect the soil from degradation.
By reducing the use of non-biodegradable materials, we can reduce the amount of waste. Make sure not to litter on the ground and do proper disposal of garbage.
The conservation of forests is another crucial factor. Without the protection of the trees, the land becomes dry and starts to erode.
Therefore, sustainable forestry or logging is important to save the soil from pollution.
Using organic fertilizers instead of chemical and synthetic fertilizers can help to minimize the effects of fertilizers.
Organic fertilizers use organic compounds like manure, tea compost, waste from the kitchen, etc, which fertilize the soil.
The effects on the yield may be slow on the crops, however, with the increasingly harmful effects of chemical fertilizers, they are safe to use.
Doing organic gardening and eating organic food that does not use pesticides or insecticides.
Creating dumping grounds away from the residential areas.
Making farmers aware of sustainable practices like conservation tillage, cover crops, crop rotation, and adding crop residuals to increase the fertility of soil instead of using inorganic fertilizers.
Be it for industrial or household waste, efficient waste disposal is one of the most effective ways to reduce the effects of land pollution.
This especially applies to toxic and hazardous waste disposal.
With increasing population, there is high demand for food, thus it leads to deforestation, industrialization, urbanization, etc affecting public health or human health. Moreover, the use of fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals leads to soil degradation.
We have a whole world, needs to take certain steps to reduce these effects. We at Al Ard Alkhadra aims to provide organic fertilizers that do not cause soil degradation and have no harmful effects on plants and animals.