Various Factors Causing Soil Pollution & Its Impacts

Factors Causing Soil Pollution – We often do not realize that it is not only water and air that can be polluted. But self-pollution can also occur in the soil. Soil pollution is a condition where both surface and underground are contaminated by various pollutants and contaminants.

Various factors can cause soil pollution which can disrupt existing ecosystems and also the health of living things, especially humans. Here are some factors that cause soil pollution.

Causes of Soil Pollution

Various things can cause soil pollution in an area, here are some examples along with explanations.

1. Solid Waste

The first factor causing soil pollution in an area is solid waste which is usually produced by various things such as sugar, paper, rayon, fish, plywood, fruit preservative factories, and many more.

Solid waste as the name suggests is in solid form which is often produced by the factory industry in the form of slurry or sludge. Accumulated solid waste can contaminate the soil and cause soil pollution. In addition, the presence of solid waste in an area can damage and worsen the landscape.

2. Liquid Waste

The second factor causing soil pollution in an area is liquid waste which is usually in the form of residue from chemical and metal industrial waste processing. This is caused by irresponsible parties disposing of liquid waste onto the ground without treating it first.

Generally, liquid waste is produced by the factory industry. But in reality, activities carried out within the scope of the household can also produce this liquid waste such as water left over from washing which usually contains soap or detergent.

Soil pollution caused by liquid waste does not only occur on the surface of the soil but also reaches the deep layers of the soil because of its absorbent nature.

3. Inorganic Waste

The third factor causing soil pollution in an area is inorganic waste which is waste that cannot undergo a fast decomposition process.

Examples of inorganic waste are various products made from plastic-based materials such as used bottles or other beverage packaging, iron, cans, zinc, and various other types of basic materials that are difficult to decompose.

In addition, organic waste can also become a breeding ground for mosquitoes if left continuously because it is not easily destroyed and can hold water, therefore a solution must be found to decompose this inorganic waste, such as burning which can overcome this problem.

4. Organic Waste

The fourth factor causing soil pollution in an area is organic waste which usually comes from various kinds of faeces and feces, to accumulated household waste such as leftover rice, vegetables, and fruit, as well as animal waste and various other types.

Organic waste itself is often considered to be better and harmless to soil when compared to other wastes such as inorganic waste. However, if there is too much organic waste, it can affect soil contamination in the area and also inhibit plant growth.

Organic waste can trigger soil contamination if not managed properly. Therefore, it is important to decompose organic waste properly, because if you just leave it alone, the decomposition process will take a long time even though there are microorganisms that naturally help the process.

5. Industrial Waste

The fifth factor causing soil pollution in an area is industrial factory waste, where both large and small industries can cause soil pollution.

This is because from every production process they carry out, there will be a processing process that produces waste which, if not treated properly, can cause pollution. Whether it’s the tourism industry, the clothing industry, and other types of industry, if the waste or garbage produced is not treated properly, it will cause soil pollution.

6. Agricultural Waste

The sixth factor causing soil pollution in an area is agricultural waste, which can be caused by the excessive and continuous use of chemical-based fertilizers and liquid pesticides.

This is because, using liquid pesticides excessively can erode natural nutrients in the soil and if not controlled, this can cause failure of a plant to reproduce and also damage the soil.

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Soil that has been damaged will be difficult to replant or even unable to produce the expected harvest at all. Therefore, it is very important to pay attention to things like this, in addition to preventing soil contamination, it can also affect crop fertility.

7. Natural Disasters

The seventh factor causing soil pollution in an area is a natural disaster that occurs in an area. For example, if an area is affected by a flood, the nutrient layer from the soil will disappear with the flow of water, causing contamination of the soil.

Another case example is when a volcano erupts, where the ground will be covered by piles of volcanic ash, sand, and various other materials that have the potential to make the ground dry. However, volcanic eruptions have the benefit that when things return to normal over time, the damaged land will return to be more fertile in the future.

8. Forest Fire

The eighth factor causing soil pollution in an area is forest fires which are often caused by irresponsible parties for personal gain which can cause soil pollution.

It is often difficult for a forest that has been burned to be replanted because the substances and compounds that are important in the soil have been damaged and died because of the fire.

9. Deforestation and soil erosion

The ninth factor causing soil pollution in an area is deforestation and soil erosion. Deforestation is often done to make dry land which is often a big problem. This is because, land that is converted to dry land will not be able to become fertile again as before, regardless of the process that is carried out to overcome this.

By converting the land itself, it means that there is a process of changing and modifying the original properties of the land for a specific purpose that the party wants to achieve. However, doing this made the land permanently damaged.

Often we see various land that used to be land used for the construction and construction of buildings which makes the soil loose due to this process. Without trees in the land, over time the land will become barren and begin to erode. 

10. Mining Activities

The tenth factor causing soil pollution in an area is mining activities which often require the construction of basements beneath the earth’s surface. The process of making or creating large open spaces under the ground often makes the land dangerous.

The existence of caves or underground rooms can endanger the integrity of the soil. Where naturally the land will usually collapse to fill in the space or cave that has been left by the mining party after carrying out its activities and extraction activities.

In addition, the mining process often produces various hazardous chemical substances and compounds such as uranium which is a chemical that can decompose into radioactive materials such as radium and uranium itself which can release a dangerous gas, namely radon. If uranium is released into the environment it can harm the soil.

11. Industrialization

The eleventh factor causing soil pollution in an area is industrialization which is one of the main causes and the biggest contributor to the pollution problem. This is because, with the high public demand for a product, the industry will grow and become even bigger.

For example, if there is an increase in population in an area, there will also be an increase in demand for food, a place to live, and various other household needs. This can cause even more waste to be generated.

With this rapid development it often brings positive changes to a region, where their economy and society become more prosperous, but we also have to understand that by doing so the level of risk of soil contamination is also getting higher.

The high interest in various household needs can make the processing of the waste that is disposed of inefficient because there is too much of it, besides that the use of various materials and chemical compounds that can damage the ecosystem, can cause soil pollution.

12. Garbage Disposal

The cause of the twelfth soil pollution in an area is a landfill. If an area continues to increase in population, the waste generated from daily activities and households will also increase.

With the booming amount of waste in landfills, more and more toxic substances and compounds will eventually seep into the ground. In addition, if there is rain, these chemicals will spread easily.

13. Human Waste

The thirteenth cause of soil pollution in an area is human waste which is a form of solid waste that remains after being processed. This is because, the residual waste is then sent to a final disposal site which can cause environmental pollution, especially soil.

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Existing waste can reduce soil quality because of these negative impacts. Apart from that, the surrounding soil can also be contaminated and there is also an increased possibility for dangerous viruses to spread and infect humans, causing health problems.

14. Nuclear Waste

The fourteenth cause of soil pollution in an area is nuclear waste. Usually this occurs in nuclear power plants which produce large amounts of energy through nuclear fission as well as fusion.

The remaining radioactive material also often contains various substances and chemical compounds that are dangerous and toxic in nature which can affect the health of living things, especially humans. Therefore, nuclear waste is often dumped under the earth to avoid direct human contact to avoid loss of life.

Impact of Soil Pollution

Various things can arise as a result of soil pollution in an area, along with information about some of the impacts along with explanations that can be caused by soil pollution.

1. Disruption of ecosystem life in an area

The first impact of soil pollution in an area is the disruption of life in an ecosystem in that area. This is because the soil can easily experience changes in the chemical content in it and the existing structure at once.

This often causes changes in metabolism in living things such as organisms that live in the soil. These changes can have a big impact which breaks the food chain in the ecosystem.

2. The emergence of health problems and various diseases

The second impact of soil pollution in an area is the emergence of health problems and various types of diseases for humans. This is because when you inhale gas that is caused by soil pollution moving upwards or inhaling an object that is on the ground because it is transported by the wind caused by various human activities.

Various health problems can arise due to soil contamination such as headaches, nausea, fatigue, skin rashes, eye irritation, and various other health problems. In addition to these various health problems, continuous exposure to polluted soil can potentially result in more serious health conditions, such as dangerous kidney, liver and cancer damage, as well as neuromuscular blockage.

Solution Steps from Soil Pollution

Here are some things you can do to prevent soil contamination from getting bigger.

1. Doing the 3R system 

The first solution to reduce soil pollution is to carry out the 3R system which consists of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. The purpose of this system is, we must start implementing a system in our lives not to waste any existing goods or products, reduce the use of items that are not too important, reuse, and recycle materials that can be recycled.

This system has been widely applied in various places such as homes, offices, and so on. By implementing this system, we become aware of the importance of recycling items that are still used for various other functions before deciding to throw them away.

2. Carry out a reforestation program

The second solution to reduce soil pollution is to carry out a reforestation program by replanting plants as an important aspect of protecting the environment from soil contamination.

In addition, reforestation has various functions such as maintaining natural balance, preventing floods, preventing soil erosion, and maintaining soil fertility in the future.

3. Prevent with remediation

The third solution to reduce soil pollution is to carry out remediation aimed at cleaning again. Carrying out remediation activities has the goal of breaking down or degrading pollutant substances and turning them into non-toxic materials or reducing levels of existing poisons such as carbon dioxide. This is done to control, reduce various materials that can create pollution in the soil.

4. Bioremediation

The fourth solution to reduce soil pollution is to carry out bioremediation which is an activity using microorganisms that aim to reduce pollutants in an environment. Bioremediation works by using microorganisms that produce an enzyme to modify pollutants that were originally toxic to be non-toxic by changing the chemical structure in them.

5. Buy and use products that are more environmentally friendly

The fifth solution to reduce soil pollution is to buy and use products that are more environmentally friendly because they can reduce the damage and pollution that has already occurred, especially to the soil.

You can easily find a variety of eco-friendly products, such as non-disposable cloth-based cotton, recycled tissue, eco-friendly toothbrushes, and many more.

Author : Andrew