Hazards of soil pollution PPT/PDF

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Hazards of soil pollution

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• What is soil pollution?
• Sources of soil pollution
• Control of soil pollution
• Diseases caused by soil pollution
• References

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What is soil pollution?

• Soil pollution or soil contamination is caused
by the presence of xenobiotic (human-made)
chemicals or other alteration in the natural
soil environment.

• Some contaminants can occur naturally in
soils as components of minerals and can be
toxic at high concentrations.

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Sources of soil pollution


➢Industrial activities
➢Domestic wastes

➢Urban and transport infrastructure
➢Waste and sewage generation and disposal

➢Agricultural and livestock activities
➢Radio active materials


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• Several soil parent materials are natural
sources of certain heavy metals and

• Which pose a risk to the environment and
human health at elevated concentration.

• Arsenic(As) contamination is a major
environmental problem.

• Soils and rocks are also natural sources of
radioactive gas Radon (Rn).

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• E.g. Naturally occurring asbestos (NOC): its
natural presence in soils poses a negligible risk
to environment.

• But when it is released from the soil near to
urban areas then it will cause risk to human

• Cz Asbestos is carcinogenic substance.

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Industrial activites

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• Gaseous pollutants and radionuclides are
released to the atmosphere and can enter the
soil directly through acid rain.

• Industrial land can be polluted by incorrect
chemical storage or direct discharge of waste
into the soil.

• Salinization also affects many soils.
• heavily contaminated soils associated with

mining activities.
• Metal smelting to separate minerals has

introduced many pollutants into the soil.

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Domestic wastes

• Domestic wastes include polythene bags,
plastics, broken packaging box, bottles, food
packaging, remnants of food and beverages.

• Broken pieces of furniture, cardboard, toys
causes soil pollution.

• Some are biodegradable and many are non

• Polymers like nylon and plastic are major

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Urban and transport infrastructure

• Activities linked to transportation in and
around urban centers constitute one of the
main sources of soil pollution.

• Source of soil pollution associated with
transport is lead contamination of soils from
leaded gasoline.

• over 10 million tonnes of lead was transferred
via the motor vehicle fleet, about 5.9 million
tonnes in the United States of America

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Waste and sewage generation and
• Municipal waste disposal in landfills and

incineration are the two most common ways to
manage waste.

• Many pollutants and their derivative products
accumulate in the soil and polluting it.

• Baderna discovered a complex mixture of
pollutants in a landfill leachate that alters
groundwater quality and in turn affects the food

• Recycle of lead batteries is the major sources of
soil contamination around the world.

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Agricultural and livestock activities

• The different agricultural sources of soil
pollutants include agrochemical sources, such
as fertilizers and animal manure, and

• Trace metals such as, Cu, Cd, Pb and Hg, are
also considered soil pollutants as they can
impair plant metabolism and decrease crop

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• Many medical substances are lipolytic and are
retained in the sludge or the manure, which in
turn may be used as fertilizer.

• If retained can greatly affect microorganisms
and other beneficial organisms in the soil.

• Inefficient use of the main nutrients (N and P)
in fertilizers.

• Negative effects on soil organisms have been
widely studied due to exposure of pesticides.

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Radio active materials

• Fallouts from the nuclear explosion causes
pollution to soil.

• Radioactive pollutants accumulated in soil
Rhodium- 106
Barium- 140
Lanthanum- 140
Promethium- 144
Strontium & caesium- 90

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• These materials deposited on the soil through
rain water where they are held by electrostatic

• Emits gamma rays which adversely affect the

• Heavy dose of radiation may cause cancer to

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From book: Soil pollution- An Emerging Threat to Agriculture
Chp: Status of pollution in India. www.DuloMix.com 17


Control of soil pollution

• Collection of wastes from various places and
dumping them in some distant places.

• But its costly so transfer stations are built up
in different centres.

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• Land-filling is another method.
• Incineration: reduces volume of garbage and

reduces toxicity. But its reduces only 30% of its
original volume.

• Recycling of wastes: recycle plastics, glass and
metallic products.

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Diseases caused by soil pollution

• Soil pollution may enter our bodies directly –
through the inhalation of soil dust or soil
particles, or through skin contact or,

• indirectly – through the consumption of food,
especially vegetables grown in contaminated

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Short Term

• The most common symptoms that appear
after direct exposure to soil contaminants are
the following:

• headache
• nausea and vomiting
• chest pain
• coughing and lung problems
• fatigue
• skin rash
• eye irritations

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Long term diseases

• The inhalation of soil particulate matter and the
ingestion of contaminated food can potentially result in
serious conditions:

• Cancer, including leukemia – caused by the contact
with soils contaminated with chemicals (e.g. gasoline,

• Nervous system damage – caused especially by the
presence of lead (Pb) in soil, and affecting especially

• Neuromuscular blockage and depression of the central
nervous system

• Kidney and liver damage – caused by chemicals such as
mercury (Hg)

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• https://www.environmentalpollutioncenters.o

• http://www.fao.org/3/i9183en/i9183en.pdf

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