What is Land Pollution?
Land pollution refers to the deterioration of the earth’s land surfaces, at and below ground level. The cause is the accumulation of solid and liquid waste materials that contaminate groundwater and soil.
These waste materials are often referred to as municipal waste (MSW), which includes both hazardous and non-hazardous waste.
When waste is deposited on an area of land, the permeability of the soil formations beneath the waste can increase or decrease the risk of land pollution. The higher the permeability of the soil, the more likely it is that land pollution will occur.
Because of this, the Texas Disposal Systems landfill was built in an ideal area outside of Austin, Texas. By using the natural slate and clay in the land, the risk of land pollution has been greatly reduced.
It was not until the middle of the 20th century that solid waste was collected with the environment in mind. Previously, waste was usually left on the ground in “open landfills”, which led to rats, mosquitoes, and other infestations of diseases, as well as bad smells and wind-blown waste.
While there are now much safer ways to dispose of waste, there are many other factors that contribute to and worsen the situation.
Causes to Land pollution
While there are many causes of land pollution, here are a few of the main contributors:
- Deforestation and Soil Erosion. Deforestation to create arid areas is a major concern. Land once turned into arid or barren land can never be made fertile again, regardless of the size of the repayment measures.
- Agricultural Activities. With the growing human population, the demand for food has increased significantly. Farmers often use highly toxic fertilizers and pesticides to remove insects, fungi and bacteria from their crops. However, excessive use of these chemicals will contaminate and poison the soil.
- Mining Activities. Several areas of land are created beneath the surface during extraction and mining. We constantly hear of land invasions that are nothing more than nature’s way of filling in the spaces left out after mining or quarrying.
- Overcrowded Landfills. Every household produces tons of garbage every year. Garbage such as aluminum, plastic, paper, fabric, wood is collected and sent to the local recycling facility. Items that cannot be recycled become part of the landfills that spoil the city’s beauty and cause land pollution.
- Industrialization. Due to the increasing demand for food, shelter and houses, more goods are being produced. This created more waste that needs to be disposed of. To meet the demand of the growing population, more industries that led to deforestation were developed.
- Urbanization. We humans have established permanent settlements for at least 10,000 years. Many of us may not classify human settlements as “land pollution”. Urbanization, however, represents a significant change in the landscape that can lead to soil pollution in a variety of less subtle ways.
- Construction Activities. Due to urbanization, there is a lot of construction going on that has resulted in huge waste items such as wood, metal, brick and plastic that are visible to the naked eye outside of a building or office under construction.
- Nuclear Waste. Nuclear power plants can produce a large amount of energy through fission and fusion. The leftover radioactive material contains harmful and toxic chemicals that can affect human health. They are thrown underground to avoid casualties.
- Sewage Treatment. After treating the wastewater, a large amount of solid waste is left. The leftover material is then taken to the landfill, which pollutes the environment.
Effects of land pollution
Land pollution touches essentially every area of the living world, including:
- Water that isn’t safe to drink.
- Polluted soil, which leads to a loss of fertile land for agriculture.
- Climate change, which causes an onslaught of disastrous problems, including flash floods and irregular rainfalls.
- The endangerment and extinction of species in wildlife.
- Habitat shifting, where some animals are forced to flee where they live in order to survive.
- An increase in wildfires, due to polluted areas often becoming very dry.
- Increased air pollution, which burning waste contributes to.
How to Prevent Land Pollution
Given the disastrous effects of land pollution, taking preventive measures to reduce its impact moving forward is crucial.
1. Using Fewer Pesticides and Chemicals in Agriculture
Given that the use of pesticides and chemicals in agriculture and farming is a major contributor to soil pollution, finding alternatives will help reduce our environmental impact. For example, farmers can use natural ingredients by switching from organic fertilizers to manure.
On an individual level, helping environmentally conscious local farmers at the nearest farmer’s market or at a local grocery store can help build a business for farmers with more sustainable farming practices. Another option is to contribute or volunteer in an urban garden in your neighborhood.
During reforestation, an area is replanted with trees. This may be necessary, for example, in areas where forest fires have occurred or where trees have been felled and milled. This process helps bind the soil, which protects it from land pollution and prevents soil erosion and flooding.
3. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
At the individual level, we can take many measures to reduce our contribution to land pollution. One of the easiest ways to do this is to reuse or recycle items so you don’t create waste from a material or item that still has a purpose.
With the growing awareness of what can be recycled and the increasing number of recycling bins in many cities, recycling has never been easier.
Land pollution refers to the deterioration of the earth’s land surfaces, at and below ground level. The cause is the accumulation of solid and liquid waste materials that contaminate groundwater and soil. These waste materials is often referred to as municipal waste (MSW), which includes both hazardous and non-hazardous waste.
Various Causes of Land Pollution:
1. Deforestation and Soil Erosion.
2. Agricultural Activities.
3. Mining Activities.
4. Overcrowded Landfills.
7. Construction Activities.
8. Nuclear Waste.
Effects of Land Pollution. Polluted soil, which leads to a loss of fertile land for agriculture. Climate change, which causes an onslaught of disastrous problems, including flash floods and irregular rainfalls. The endangerment and extinction of species in wildlife.