Soil is a gift by nature which benefits us in many ways. Soil is on which we depend to survive and satiate our hunger. Just like water, soil is used for various purposes as it is foremost component in agriculture, it is source of various minerals and nutrients for plants, trees and herbs, it is used for arts and for constructional works etc.
Since the soil is a multipurpose element so we cannot think about a life without healthy soil. Imagining a world without soil is very ghastly as you can feel but you must know that it is not just an imagination but is going to be real very soon.
Yes! You heard it right. We are polluting the soil so rapidly that the day is not far when we will be forced to live without healthy soil. Soil Pollution has emerged out to be a global problem around us. We are going to learn about it in detail below.
Long Essay on Soil Pollution in English
We have created a long and useful essay on ‘Soil Pollution’. The essay will help you in getting causes, effects, solution etc. of Soil Pollution. The essay is created with a purpose to provide you all the important information related to the topic in very easy and brief language. Use of basic words in simple sentences has made it easy to read and understand every sentence of the essay. It will help the students of lower classes and also of upper classes in creating their essay, speech or any project on the topic. Hoping you will read and understand the whole essay effortlessly without getting stuck at any point. Let’s read the essay now.
Soil Pollution Essay – Long Essay (3000 Words)
Nature has bestowed upon us many invaluable resources like air, water, land, soil, trees etc. All these resources are very important for the existence of life on earth. These natural resources are useful for us in many ways but only till they are in their purest form. Mixing of any kind of impurity in these resources can be harmful and lead us to pathetic death. The process of making these resources impure by anyhow is called ‘Pollution’. There are varieties of pollutions out of which some are water pollution, air pollution, noise pollution, thermal pollution and soil pollution. Pollution is always harmful for us no matter which one it is. Soil Pollution is one of the main types of pollutions and it is related to the pollution of soil by many human and natural activities.
What is Soil Pollution?
Soil Pollution is the mixing of some unwanted chemicals in the soil. We know that the soil is the most important factor to grow plants, herbs, grains and crops. Without soil, we neither can grow them nor can quell our hunger so the health of soil should be maintained to get the best production on time. Soil Pollution is all about mixing some toxic elements in the soil but it is also referred that when some important ingredient of soil is present in excess quantity then they causes soil pollution because excess quantity of anything is always harmful. So we can say that Soil Pollution is nothing but the degradation of the quality of soil and making it less fertile and less productive. Soil Pollution is also denoted as ‘Soil Contamination’.
Causes/Sources of Soil Pollution
Soil Pollution is always harmful for present and future generations in many ways. It is very important for us to study the causes or sources of soil pollution if we want to remove it completely from its existence. There are various causes of soil pollution which can be divided mainly in two categories as Natural Causes and Man-made Causes. Categorizing them in these two parts will make it easy for us to study the causes and control them.
- Natural Causes of Soil Pollution
Soil Pollution is often caused by some natural phenomena which are not under control of human. Soil Pollution by natural activities is very rare and it also doesn’t affect that land in such a large ratio as it is affected by human activities.
- Extraction of Salts and Minerals: Salts and Minerals are the result of mixing of many chemicals and materials on high temperature, pressure and other natural conditions. These salts and minerals are impure until they are extracted and processed and so they pollute surrounding land with soil for that time.
- Accumulation of Per-chlorate: Per-chlorate is a threat to soil, water and plants because it is a strong oxidizer. It is accumulated in soil under dry environment. Per-chlorate is created due to chemical reaction with metals in the presence of energy and is accumulated in the soil making it polluted.
- Leakage through Sewer Lines: Sewer Lines below the surface of the earth are sometimes broken by natural activities like earthquake. Leakage through these breakings is mixed in soils and makes it polluted.
- Flood: Flood is a natural disaster and equally responsible for soil pollution. During the flood, the waste materials are flown by water from one place to another and are mixed in soil there. It changes the state of soil of original condition and makes it polluted.
These were some important natural causes for soil pollution. These are almost beyond the control and as we already said that these are very rare too.
- Man-Made Causes of Soil Pollution
The soil is more polluted by human activities rather than natural activities. There are many ways through which human is deeply involved in making soil polluted and unable to produce healthy crop and vegetables. Some of the anthropogenic ways of soil pollution are as follows:
- Harmful Pesticides: Pesticides are chemical substances used in fields to keep pests and insects away from the crop. The toxic chemicals used in pesticides are also very harmful for soil and crop. With killing all unwanted pests they also remove some of those important bacteria from the soil which maintain the fertility of the soil.
- Excess use of Fertilizers: Fertilizer is another agricultural tool to increase the fertility of the soil. Fertilizers provide all those chemicals which are not produced in the soil. Some of these chemicals are non-decomposable and remain in soil for a long time making it polluted.
- Industrial Activities: The rising population and its rapidly growing demand for goods and services have unanimously increased the places for many new industries. The waste materials by these industries are not disposed safely and are lingered on the surface of the soil. The toxic chemicals of these industrial wastes are spread over the soil leading to soil pollution.
- Household Wastes: Solid household wastes like bottles, plastic bags, cloths, cans, food packaging, news papers etc. are also responsible for spreading soil pollution. These wastes contain some toxic and non-biodegradable objects which contaminate the soil and make it polluted and unfit to use.
- Wastes from Construction Work: The world is leading towards urbanization very sharply and we can see many construction works around us. The waste from these construction sites like waste chemicals, paints, building materials and other toxic elements are spread carelessly on the site and make the soil around polluted. The increase in construction works is direct increase in the soil pollution.
- Mining Chemicals: Mining is the process of extracting underground ore for the use of human being. Various toxic and hazardous chemicals are exposed during mining including cyanide, sulphuric acid, nitric acid, ammonium nitrate, heavy metals and gasoline etc. These chemicals are often not treated carefully and are deliberately left on the surface of soil causing soil pollution.
- Acid Rain: Acid Rain is another major source of soil pollution. Although rain is a natural phenomenon but when the drops of water in the rain are mixed with pollutants in the air, they are called acid rain and they cause severe injuries to the human body. These acidic drops of water pollute the soil and harm its productivity as well.
- Oil Leaking: Gas and Petroleum Stations often experience the leakage and spread of petroleum products on the land around the spot. Sometimes the underground pipe lines of the transportation of these petroleum products are damaged somehow and start leaking. By this the petroleum products meet the soil in high amount. These two factors are greatly responsible for spreading soil pollution.
- Waste Dumping: Dumping of agricultural waste materials is sometimes good for increasing the fertility of the soil but it should be noted that there are some objects in our wastes which are non-biodegradable and dumping them can cause soil pollution and along term harm to the Mother Nature.
- Municipality Waste: Municipality of a specific region collects the household garbage, human excretion, wastes from the markets and other wastes and dispose them at an appropriate place far distant from human colonies. The land and soil around the spot, where these wastes are disposed is destroyed and causes serious problem of soil pollution.
- Radioactive Substances: The Radioactive Substances like Uranium, Thorium and Radium etc. emit some waves which harm the soil and causes Soil Pollution on a massive level.
Results/Outcomes/Effects of Soil Pollution
By now, it is clear that the Soil Pollution is about making soil toxic and unfit to use. The polluted soil is very harmful for our health and it causes some very serious problem for every living being. As we all know that the soil serves us directly and indirectly in many ways therefore its adverse effects are numerous as per our use.
- Declining Human Health: Polluted Soil is not good for human health. Direct contact from polluted soil containing some toxic agents may cause some skin burn, rashes and other serious diseases. Even inhaling the air containing vaporized soil pollutants causes some congenital disease and also damages the lungs badly. Contact with Benzene in polluted soil is the carrier of leukaemia similarly mercury can damage our kidney and in the same way other chlorinated solvents can destroy our nervous system too.
- Polluted Ground Water: The toxic elements in the polluted soil reaches to the ground water and mix with them making them poisonous. This water is not fit for drinking being a store house for load of disease.
- Damaged Food Chain: The primary stage of Food Chain is combined with the micro-organism present the soil. These micro-organisms have a great contribution in maintaining the food cycle but the pollutants in the soil either kill them or make them almost dead. The attack on primary stage of food chain imbalances the complete food chain and ecosystem.
- Lower Growth of Plants: The soil pollution changes the whole chemical structure of the ideal soil and makes it infertile. The infertile land lacks all the necessary components for the growth of the plant and makes it barren like a desert.
- Soil Erosion: Soil Pollution is a start-up for Soil Erosion. Soil contains many important bacteria and fungi which are responsible to bind the soil particles together. Soil Pollution makes soil stay with absence of these fungi and bacteria and make soil erosion another destruction of soil.
- Inferior Crop Quality: Due to fertilizers and pesticides used during agriculture, the soil loses its original structure and becomes less productive. The constant and heavy use of manual fertilizers makes the soil weaker and the soil becomes incapable of producing a healthy crop anymore after some times.
Prevention/Solution of Soil Pollution
Soil Pollution is covering the whole world very speedily and its negative effects can be seen clearly. Soil is one of our few basic needs and we must take care of it. We have already learned about the possible causes of Soil Pollution so now it is easy for us to work on preventing it. Some of the ways to prevent soil pollution are as below,
- Balanced use of Pesticides: Undoubtedly pesticides are very important to keep pests away from the crop but it is also important for us to understand the balanced use of these harmful pesticides. Comparatively lower use of Pesticides will help in maintaining the health of the produced crop and won’t kill the necessary bacteria and will make the soil unpolluted and safe to use.
- Balanced Use of Fertilizers: A healthy and substantial crop needs healthy soil to be produced rather than the overuse of fertilizers. Try to use organic Fertilizers like animal matters, animal excrete and vegetable matters than the synthetic fertilizers which are very destructive for the soil.
- Monitored Industrial Activities: Industrial Activities are one of the greatest resources of soil pollution so the authority must monitor its operations. All the industrial wastes should be checked if they can be recycled or not before disposing them. Some industrial waste may work as raw material of other industries so they must be delivered to them and the left waste must be disposed appropriately without harming soil.
- Treatment of Household Wastes: Household wastes are either in the form of solid or liquid. The liquid wastes can be dumped in the ground but the solid waste must be checked for recycling instead of dumping them together with the liquid wastes. Even there are some biologically degradable and non-degradable wastes which must be treated accordingly. The non-biodegradable waste should be sent to the appropriate place for further processing or recycling.
- Construction Waste Treatment: There are varieties of wastes found on the construction sites. These wastes may be raw materials for some industries like wood for paper industry, plastic waste for plastic industry etc. So the transfer of waste to its appropriate place will help in utilizing the resources and reduce the risk of soil pollution.
- Pause on Acid Rain: Acid Rain is one of the major sources of soil pollution so it must be checked immediately. Acid Rain is caused due to toxic pollutants in the air so it is very important for us to work towards making air fresh. By this, we can stop Acid Rain and then the soil pollution.
- Maintenance of Sewer System: The leakage through sewer system is a serious problem so the government must regularly check and maintain the sewer system to stop soil pollution.
- Waste Management by Municipality: Municipality of a region should be innovative and check the best solution for its place to keep away from soil pollution. The collected waste by Municipality should be dumped on such a land that is obsolete and is far distant from human settlement.
- Aeration of Soil: The places where soil pollution has spread its hand, Aeration may prove to be the best tool to overcome the existing problem. Aeration includes creating holes on the land to let the nutrition and water reach the surface and make the soil regenerated.
- Rotation of Crop: Soil is the first and foremost need in agriculture. It contains all essential elements needed for a healthy crop. Instead of producing the same crop for a long time, rotation of crop will help in balancing the nutrients of the soil and make it healthy.
- Education and Awareness: Getting the information about soil pollution is not enough to remove the problem completely. The mass co-operation of whole population is very important to completely eradicate the problem of Soil Pollution. A proper education and awareness in rural areas as well is the best tool that can help humans to stay safe and healthy.
Global and Indian Data on Soil Pollution
Soil Pollution is not a problem for one, two or few nations but it is spread on global level. Every country, now a day, is suffering from Soil Pollution and the problem has increased so much that the one third of the global soil has been badly polluted and the rest are tending towards it. More than 80,000 sites in Australia are having contaminated soil and the number is constantly increasing. The situation in Europe is much worse as about 3 million sites there with polluted soil and in US, about 1300 sites are declared hot-spot for soil pollution.
Rapid Industrial growth has contributed most in making India forward in Soil Pollution. India has about 328 millions hectare of land with more than 45 critically polluted sites. Indian states Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu are at the forefront in the case of soil pollution. 21 out of the 43 critically polluted sites are from these 4 states.
Steps taken by the Government to Remove Soil Pollution
Continuous, rotational and increased farming is a good and effective way to reduce the problem of Soil Pollution. The Indian Government is concerned about from a very long time and it can be clearly seen through the ‘Five Year’s Plans’ in India. The five year’s plan in India was introduced in 1951 during the office of Prime Minister Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru. Total 13, five-year plans have been implemented in India since then out of which, government has focused on agriculture in first and fifth five year’s plan. These two five year plans were mainly focused on increasing the agricultural product and improving the quality of soil. However, the government could not achieve the complete objective but succeeded in reaching very close to the target.
The Indian Government has taken necessary steps time to time to reduce the risk of soil pollution. Few of these steps are formulation of environmental regulations, Promotion of cleaner production processes, strict amendments to many Waste Management rules including Municipal Solid Waste, Plastic Waste, Hazardous Waste, Bio-medical Waste and Electronic Waste notified etc. Apart from these, preparation of action plan for sewage management and restoration of water quality in aquatic resources by State Governments is another commendable step by the government of India.
Incidents of Soil Pollution in India
In September 2016, people from a village of Goa ‘Sao Jose de Areal’ reported excess sulphur dioxide and carbon dust particles in the soil and air arising from Industrial Unit in the village. The villagers demanded for regular soil check from the government and later their demand was accepted.
During the 2018, Indian government was planning to set a power plant in Mandla district of Madhya Pradesh and it was named ‘Chutka Nuclear Power Plant’ for which officials were sent to examine the site. The farmers of the Mandla stopped the officials from taking sample of the soil and started a protest against the 12000 crore project of Indian Government and named the protest ‘Soil Satyagrah. However they succeeded and the project is temporarily suspended.
There are many other cases of soil pollution in India which made people realize the value of soil and fight to preserve it for their subsistence.
Soil Pollution is never good and acceptable to humans or other living beings. It is promoted through many of our daily activities like disposing plastic everywhere, burning plastic in the soil, spreading the ashes on the soil after smoking, burning of crop etc. Our daily small habits can make a large damage to the soil so we have to stand and fight against it. We have to understand that soil is responsible for production without which we won’t be able to remove our hunger. Stay aware and make people aware around you too. Fighting to save your soil is the fight for yourself, not for anyone else.