Soil Contamination: Serious Environmental Problem
Soil Contamination - What It Is
Soil contamination is one of today's major environmental problems. For centuries man has been little concerned with the disposal of waste, chemicals and industrial waste. The result is a large amount of contaminated land that is unviable for farming or housing construction. It is also a huge damage to the environment.
Main types of soil contamination and their consequences:
- Industrial waste
Chemicals, fuels, heavy metals and other elements are disposed of in or near the factory floor. These elements, over time, penetrate the soil contaminating it. These areas are unsuitable for home construction (houses and buildings) as soil contaminants can cause disease to people. The treatment of these soils is possible, but demands the use of many resources, besides being a long process.
Another serious problem caused by this type of waste is water contamination. Once in the soil, these debris can reach groundwater contaminating the water.
- Dumping ground
Land that was once a landfill site presents several problems. In addition to contamination by various types of pollutants, they may present an explosion hazard. This is because the process of decomposing organic waste generates the production of flammable gases that get trapped in the soil.
- Electronic Waste
With the large increase in the production and consumption of electronic products in recent decades, the generation of this type of waste has also grown. When thrown on the ground, these products (monitors, cell phones, batteries, televisions, printers, etc.) release over time various chemicals that contaminate the soil.
- Radioactive Elements
Although there are few cases, when they occur they generate very serious problems. Accidents at nuclear plants or the disposal of equipment that uses radioactive elements (X-ray machines, for example) can leave the soil contaminated for centuries. Not to mention that if a person comes into contact with the soil with this type of contamination can die or develop various types of cancer.