Soil provides habitat to animals, plants, insects, humans and as a whole living organism so it is considered to be a vital part for living beings. Soil helps to provide the necessary moisture and minerals to support the plant that prevents many natural disasters. Also, many microbes make their existence on the soil.
Soil pollution is the degradation of soil due to the presence of various unwanted chemicals that alters the natural state of the soil. It degrades the quality of soil and makes it unsuitable for plants as well as other living organisms. The excess use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides and other has degraded the quality of soil and its natural capacities. Soil pollution is mostly seen in the areas where urbanization is high and industrialized areas. Hence, when the chemical and physical properties of the land changes and cause harm to living organisms, it can be considered as soil pollution.
Sources of Soil Pollution
- Domestic Wastes
The waste products that are generated through the day to day household activities such as dust, plastic, contaminated food, paper, etc. are thrown on land. It produces many harmful germs which are the causes of many harmful diseases. As a result, land pollution occurs that decreases the fertility of the soil.
- Excessive Use of Pesticides
Different types of chemicals such as insecticides and pesticides used by farmers to enhance the crops are degrading the natural quality of the soil. The most dangerous substances that cause harm to the soil are DDT, Aldrin, parathion, etc.
- Industrial Wastes
The wastage omitted from the factories and industries which are thrown in the land causes harm in the natural state of the soil. It causes degrade in the quantity and quality of crops grown from the land. It also has many other harmful effects on the living organisms.
- Use of Chemical Fertilizers
The fertilizers which are used in the agricultural process also harm the quality of the soil. If used in a proper and adequate amount, it can be useful for the humans, but if they are used in a haphazard way it affects the soil negatively. It may also cause an imbalance in the nutrients of the soil.
- Municipal Waste
The wastage collected from the municipal areas are not disposed of in a proper place due to which the soil gets contaminated. Both organic and inorganic waste from the cities are responsible for the depletion of fertility of the soil.
- Acid Rain
The presence of any sorts of acids such as sulphuric acid, nitric acid, etc. in rain is said to be acid rain. The acid rainfall damages the natural quality of soil and makes it infertile.
Measures to Control Soil Pollution
- The use of compost manure should be emphasized rather than the chemical fertilizers.
- There should be a limitation in the use of pesticides and insecticides so that the fertility of soil remains good.
- The wastage obtained from the city areas should be disposed of in a proper place.
- The water used in the irrigation system should be pure.
- Afforestation programme should be launched in places with a high chance of natural disasters.
- Different types of awareness programmes should be made effective to give knowledge about soil conservation.
- The proper drainage system should be made.
- Different pieces of training should be given for the proper and effective use of chemical fertilizers.
- The harmful substances emitted by factories and industries must be properly managed.
- Various soil conservation methods must be implemented to preserve the soil.
Conservation and Management of Forest
Forest is one of the major factors to play role in balancing the ecosystem and providing habitats to various animals and microorganisms. Places with a high number of trees do not suffer from natural calamities such as floods, landslides, etc. Forest causes rainfall which is very important for the plants to survive. It also prevents and increases the natural fertility of the soil. Forest helps in purification of the air, oxygen, the most essential thing for breathing is provided by forest. But, in the present days, people have been cutting down the trees for their benefit which is causing an imbalance in the surrounding environment. Some of the major ways to conserve forest are listed as follows:
- Afforestation programme must be emphasized. Scientific and systematic ways should be used to cut down trees.
- Forest fire must be prevented.
- Strict laws regarding the deforestation should be implemented.
- The plantation programme must be done in bare fields and steep slopes. Terrace farming should be given importance.
- The unauthentic and unwanted used of trees must be prevented.