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.
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.
What are the Causes to Land pollution?
Various Causes of Land Pollution:
- Deforestation and Soil Erosion.
- Agricultural Activities.
- Mining Activities.
- Overcrowded Landfills.
- Construction Activities.
- Nuclear Waste.
What is the Effect of Land Pollution?
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.
What causes pollution on land?
Land pollution is a major problem around the world and is caused by a variety of factors. Some of main causes of soil pollution include deforestation and consequent erosion, agriculture, industry, mining, landfills and illegal dumping of waste as well as urbanization and construction.
What are the 4 types of land pollution?
Major Types of Land Pollution
- Agricultural Land Pollution. We use a lot of fertilizers as well as pesticides, fungicides, and insecticides on our agricultural land in a bid to maximize yields.
- Non-biodegradable Solid Waste.
- Industrial Waste.
What are the examples of land pollution?
Here are some examples of land pollution:
- Litter on every corner or on the side of the road.
- Oil spills.
- Illegal dumping in natural habitats.
- Debris or damage caused from unsustainable logging practices.
- Pesticides and other farming chemicals.
- Nuclear accidents or radiation spills.
How can land pollution harm the environment?
Contamination of groundwater, loss of topsoil, water nutrient enrichment and increased risk of wildfires (because of the dry conditions created by the pollutants in the soil) are among the consequences of land pollution.
How does pollution affect land animals?
Millions of animals are killed by plastics every year, from birds to fish to other marine organisms. Nearly 700 species, including endangered ones, are known to have been affected by plastics. Nearly every species of seabird eats plastics. Most of the deaths to animals are caused by entanglement or starvation.
What is land pollution in short answer?
land pollution, the deposition of solid or liquid waste materials on land or underground in a manner that can contaminate the soil and groundwater, threaten public health, and cause unsightly conditions and nuisances.
What is the major pollutants of land pollution?
The primary pollutants of concern in land and soil are heavy metals, such as lead, mercury and others, pesticides and other persistent organic pollutants, and pharmaceuticals, such as antibiotics used for livestock management.
How does land pollution affect plants and animals?
Other types of land pollution like mining, farming, and factories can allow for harmful chemicals to enter into the soil and water. These chemicals can cause animals and plants to die, disrupting the food chain. Landfills release the greenhouse gas methane, which may lead to global warming.
How does plastic pollute land?
Chlorinated plastic can release harmful chemicals into the surrounding soil, which can then seep into groundwater or other surrounding water sources, and also the ecosystem. This can cause a range of potentially harmful effects on the species that drink the water.
How can we clean up land pollution?
In situ treatment such as leaching with water, heating, injection of compounds that dissolve the organic contaminants, or treating to soil in a way that locks up the pollutants so that they can be pumped out of the system, is used to remove some of the problem elements.
How can we prevent water and land pollution?
To prevent soil and water pollution, we implement effluent purification through installing a waste water treatment system by activated carbon, and an emergency reservoir tank. We have also established voluntary control standards that are stricter than law-regulated values, to tackle pollution prevention.
How can we prevent and control land pollution?
Disposing of wastes properly is an important way to take control of land pollution. By containing our waste products to areas that are designed and filtered properly, we reduce the leachate from rubbish and sewage that pollutes our waterways and eventually makes its way back to land in the form of rain and snow.
What are 5 effects of land pollution?
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.
What animals are harmed by land pollution?
Example: otters, ducks, etc. with oil. Pollution can also cause the roots of plants and trees to rot away, creating an unstable environment and eliminating a primary food source for many inhabitants. Pollution can run into water as well and kill animals drinking as well as the plants through root uptake.
How does plastic affect land animals?
In the case where the limbs of animals are trapped, it makes them less agile and more vulnerable to predators, competitors, and environmental stress. If they manage to eat the plastic, it can also cause intestinal blockages and can become fatal for that animal.
How does land pollution affect soil productivity?
The toxic chemicals present in the soil can decrease soil fertility and therefore decrease in the soil yield. The contaminated soil is then used to produce fruits and vegetables, which lacks quality nutrients and may contain some poisonous substance to cause serious health problems in people consuming them.
How does land pollution affect water?
As ground water works its way through the soil, it can pick up excess nutrients and transport them to the water table. When polluted groundwater reaches drinking water systems it can pose serious public health threats. Nutrient pollution can affect vital ground water and drinking water sources.
How can land pollution affect plants?
Plants get affected when toxic chemicals seep into the soil and strip the land of nutritional content. These harmful substances often accumulate in the soil, changing its chemical properties and availability of other elements, which damages plant cells and prevents them from obtaining nutrients and thriving.
How many land animals are killed by plastic each year?
How many animals are killed by plastic pollution? Ocean Crusaders reports that plastic kills 1 million sea birds annually, and that plastic entanglement alone kills an estimated 100,000 marine animals each year.
How does plastic destroy habitats?
Habitats are being destroyed not just because of climate change or poaching but because of plastic bags. Plastic bags, once settled, get into the soil and slowly release toxic chemicals. They eventually break down into the soil, with the unfortunate result being that animals eat them and often choke and die.
How does land pollution affect the economy?
Quantifiable economic losses due to soil pollution are loss of soil productivity and reduction of crop yields, contamination of food products and loss of marketability, reduction of biodiversity, and reduction of water quality.