Monday, November 2, 2020

Land Pollution: Causes, Effects, and its Prevention

elonjeevan

Our environment is deteriorating day by day. Air and water pollution comes to the forefront of our minds whenever we talk about pollution The main cause of it is human itself. Which gives birth to different kinds of environment pollution and one of those kinds is land pollution. 

Before proceeding let's understand the basics of what pollution exactly is? Pollution is the introduction of harmful substances into the environment. These harmful substances are called pollutants. Pollutants damage the quality of water, air and land. In this article, we will focus primarily on land pollution its causes, effects and solutions. 


Land Pollution: Causes, Effects, and its Prevention


What is Land pollution ?

Land pollution, means destruction degradation of the Earth’s surface and soil, directly or indirectly, because of human activities. 

It is a global issue which is the need of the hour to fix immediately. The unwanted materials contaminate the quality of our land.

we should  implement the preventive measures to control land pollution, Before that you must be aware of what causes land pollution and how it affects the environment.


Causes of Land Pollution

There are various causes which contribute to this pollution such as agricultural waste, household waste,  industrial waste etc. The most common ones are: 


  • Mining activities

Mining is the extraction of minerals and other geological materials from the ground, which are then used for a wide range of purposes, such as generating electricity, producing gasoline for automobiles etc. 

Mining activities sometimes require harmful chemicals to extract natural resources from the earth's surface. These chemicals can have adverse effects on the soil which can eventually disrupt the life of plants and animals.


  • Deforestation

Deforestation is one of the most common causes of land pollution. Forest lands are sometimes losing trees due to natural causes like forest fires but most of the time due to man-made causes.

We have deforested for various development reasons, but the sad truth is that "once the land is turned into barren land, it will not be able to regain its fertile power."

Land conversion, that is the change or modification of real estate to make it usable for a particular purpose, is another major factor. This gives the ground too much barrier.


  • Chemicals from agricultural activities

Due to the increasing population worldwide, The use of pesticides & fertilizers has been increased a lot these days to improve productivity of the crops.
The harmful chemicals used in the form of fertilizers & pesticides ultimately contaminate the land when mixed with the soil.


  • Landfills

Landfills  are one of the leading causes of land pollution. Every year each household produces tonnes of garbage. Garbage like paper, cloth, wood, aluminum, plastic is collected and sent to the local recycling unit. Most of the items that can not be recycled become a part of the landfills that cause land pollution.

  • Construction Activities.

Every day there is new construction work going on to fulfill needs of the people.  construction work has resulted in huge waste articles like wood, metal, bricks, plastic etc. 
If we do not dispose of these by-products properly after completion of the work, then it may cause harm to the land.

  • Disposal of Nuclear waste.

Nuclear waste is a dangerous way to pollute the earth. Residual radioactive substances contain harmful and toxic chemicals that can affect human health. They are thrown under the ground to avoid any casualty. This way of disposal causes serious consequences for years by contaminating the land.

  • Sewage Disposal

Improper Sewage disposal is one of the major causes of land pollution. It should be treated in a professional way to protect the soil and more importantly, groundwater which is an essential source of water for us.
If sewage is not treated correctly, it produces harmful toxins that seep into the ground, causing land pollution.

  • Littering

Littering is also another major cause of land pollution. It is a common problem, no matter it is an urban or a rural region. People just throw their garbage on the land without caring about the harmful effects on the environment. Garbage contains  plastic, cigarette butts etc. 

Effects of Land Pollution

Land pollution affects all the living organisms whether it is plant, animals, or human beings. The main effects of land pollution are following-


  • Soil Pollution

Soil pollution is another form of land pollution. It is mainly caused by deforestation, overgrazing and other agricultural activities like the use of pesticides or fertilizers. If it continues for many years, then the topsoil will lose its fertility. 

 The regeneration process of topsoil takes at least 500 years for 2.5 centimetres . The United State of America  loses soil at the rate 17 times higher than it usually takes to generate new topsoil.


  • Drinking Water Problem

Drinking water is highly affected by land pollution. According to UNO's Report  2.5 billion people have access to better drinking water, but still 663 million people are deprived. Every day about 1,000 children die of diarrhea which is caused by water pollution. 


  • Groundwater Problems

When harmful substances from industrial processes, chemicals are improperly disposed of on the land it gradually seep in the ground. which  affect the purity of the groundwater.

These toxins contaminate the groundwater that ultimately affects human health.  Even  animals and plants also have to suffer a lot due to groundwater contamination.


  • Climate change

Land pollution is indirectly affect the climatic conditions of the globe. it is responsible for the loss of ecosystem. 

land pollution decreases the fertility rate of topsoil that means less plants will grown in future. Trees plays an important role to cool down the environment because they absorb carbon dioxide. But less forest lead to global warming which causes climate change. 

  • Causes air pollution

One of the leading causes of air pollution is land pollution. A vast number of  burning of garbage emits various toxic gases in the atmosphere. These gases are responsible for the deterioration of the quality of air. 

When we breathe in such unhealthy air, it causes various health issues such as respiratory problems, lung problems, and asthma etc. Due to air pollution, 70 lac people die each year. 


  • Habitat Shifting

When soil erosion and deforestation are in progress, animals are forced to move from their natural habitat to find food & shelter. 
The change is too distressful for some animals, and this even leads to loss of their life. As a result, some species are posed with a greater risk of extinction.



  • Impacts on wildlife

Wildlife plays an important role in our ecosystem. The wild animals  are equally paying for the land pollution caused mainly by human sources. They face a serious threat with regard to the 'loss of habitat' and natural environment. 
Due to deforestation several species are  pushed to the verge of extinction. forests are home for wild animals. 


  • Impacts on plants

Plants are also affected by land pollution. Fertility of topsoil is very important for the growth of plants. The harmful chemicals alter the soil property that creates a big problem for the vegetation of the plant.

The poor-quality of soil causes the extinction of many plant species.


How to prevent land pollution


  • Follow 3 R's

We should aware people of the concept of 3R's that means Reduce, Recycle and Reuse. 3Rs is important to minimize the amount of waste in the landfill.

  • Reduce plastic

Plastic has become a significant issue for the whole world. It is a big environmental issue that not only pollute the land but also causes water pollution and Air pollution. 


  • Reforestation

Reforestation means replanting an area with trees. This can be needed for areas that have experienced Forest fires or where trees had been chopped down and milled. 
This process helps to bind the soil, which helps to protect it from land pollution, prevents soil erosion and flooding.


  • Use less Pesticides and fertilizers

 Reduce the use of fertilizers and pesticides in agricultural activities. it helps a lot to prevent land pollution. 

  • Avoid single use packaging

We should switch to reusable cloth bag for groceries instead of plastic shopping bags to reduce single use plastic waste. Say 'no to single use plastic'  is a small and easy initiative to reduce land pollution. 

  • Raise awareness

 Raising awareness always makes a difference to reduce land pollution. You can share information or discuss the causes, effects, and solutions to mitigate land pollution.

  • By educating people

Education is key to prevent the land pollution. We have to show people the adverse effects of land pollution and the way to reduce them. Convince others to significant contribution to save our environment. Because someone well said

"LITTLE STEPS BRING HUGE CHANGE"

Conclusion 

As human beings are majorly responsible for causing land pollution, hence it is our responsibility to reduce this problem. 

As a good citizen it is one's duty to share information with your friends to save our planet.