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What are the Causes and Effects of Land Pollution?

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What are the Causes and Effects of Land Pollution?

Land or Soil pollution can be defined as the changes in physical, chemical and biological conditions of the soil or land through man’s intervention or misuse of land.

Sources and Causes of land pollution

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Land pollution is caused by both natural factors and human activities. They are each discussed below:

Natural factors: The natural factors that cause soil erosion includes volcanic eruptions, changes in rainfall pattern, earthquakes, topographic changes, wind and glacier movements. Natural factors of soil erosion (like rainfall, wind, topography, etc.) are further increased by human activities.

Human activities: Soil pollution is further increased by human-activities. Some of the human activities that causes land or soil pollution includes the following:

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  • The main factors of  land pollution are increasing rate of soil erosion caused due to deforestation.
  • In most of the developing countries increasing rate of soil erosion due to deforestation and faulty agricultural practices has degraded land to a large scale because the fertile top soil has been washed out.
  • The excreta of birds, animals and humans are source of soil pollution by biological agents. Sewage used as manure causes soil pollution.
  • Acid rains increase the acidity of soils that is injurious to plant growth. It is caused by the presence of pollutants in the environment. The major causes of acid rains includes human activities such as burning of fossil fuels, and introduction of harmful gases.
  • The toxic chemicals in the form of solid and liquid wastes that are disposed by industries and factories is the major source for soil pollution.
  • The nuclear power plants are responsible for producing radioactive wastes. These are harmful for the soil.

Harmful effects of land pollution

The following are the harmful effects of land pollution:

  1. Land pollution results in substantial decrease in soil fertility and agricultural production.
  2. Chemical pollutants in the form of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, insecticides and herbicides cause various diseases and several deaths.
  3. Those bacteria which are transmitted to human-beings from soil infect causes dysentery, cholera, tuberculosis, typhoid and paratyphoid fever, etc.
  4. The decomposition of various waste materials causes harmful gases and bad smell.
  5. Clogging of micro-holes of the soil by particles in the sewage destroy the soil micro-organisms.
  6. Land pollution is one of the main causes of air and water pollution.

Control of Land pollution

Land pollution can be controlled by adopting as follows:

  1. Soil erosion should be checked.
  2. Controlled and judicious use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, insecticides and herbicides.
  3. Proper disposal of industrial and urban wastes.
  4. After proper treatment the urban and industrial effluents should be used for irrigation purposes.
  5. Proper land use and management.
  6. Proper use of fertilizers and biocides.
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