What is Land Pollution?
Land pollution can be understood as the contamination of land and soil because of the deposition of waste materials, both liquid and solid, on land that affects the soil and groundwater adversely. Land pollution has been readily neglected and demands stronger reaction as water and air pollution.
What Causes Land Pollution?
Generally, the material and liquid wastes that are disposed off on land and water cause the contamination of the land as most of the disposed of wastes are not biodegradable but non-biodegradable and toxic in nature. These waste materials causing land pollution can be categorized into three types- municipal solid waste, construction and demolition waste, and hazardous waste.
Municipal solid waste or municipal refuse: This waste is commonly known as household garbage or trash. It consists of everyday items that are dumped by the public. The garbage waste is collected by the municipality; therefore, the word municipality has been added to its name. This type of solid waste contains food and kitchen waste and paper that is biodegradable; a huge amount of plastic that is non-biodegradable; chemical wastes such as batteries and paints; biomedical wastes such as medicines and other electric and non-combustible wastes.
Construction and demolition waste or C&D material: Construction waste consists of waste materials that are discarded during the construction process or by construction industries. These typically include bricks, cement, nails, electrical wires, shingles, concrete rubbles, wood objects, asphalt, iron, and steel. Demolition waste includes materials that are produced after the demolition of any structure like bridges and apartments.
Hazardous waste: Hazardous wastes are wastes that contain harmful substances that are toxic in nature and pose a threat to the environment. These are primarily in liquid form and consist mainly of chemicals. Some examples include petroleum, carbon, pesticide, and fertilizers.
Other causes include deforestation, mining, soil erosion, industrialization, poor sewage treatment, etc.
What are the Effects of Land Pollution?
- Soil Pollution: Soil pollution is the contamination of the upper layer of the soil. Soil erosion, the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, deforestation, and overgrazing is one of the main reasons for soil pollution.
- Water Pollution: The toxic waste material and liquids that are discarded on land contaminate water through the sewage system and sludges. The contamination of soil seeps down and causes pollution in the groundwater and destroys the water table. Water pollution is not only affecting us but is also damaging our water ecosystems by killing and poisoning them.
- Air Pollution: The waste that does not degrade in the soil, called non-biodegradable waste, is then burned, which causes air pollution because of the toxic substances that are emitted into the air. Air pollution is a major health hazard for humans.
- Effects on Human Health: Land pollution can lead to the formation of breeding grounds for rodents, flies, and mosquitoes. These pollute the environment even further and cause dangerous diseases like malaria, dengue, and plague.
Chemical substances like arsenic, mercury, chromium, lead, and ammonia, etc. can contaminate water and flora that grows on land. It poisons the animals and humans.
Air pollution that is caused due to land pollution is one of the main reasons for lungs and breathing problems. Water pollution can cause terrible diseases like cholera and diarrhea.
- Effect on Our Environment: Our environment is very badly affected by land pollution. Soil erosion and deforestation caused by soil and land pollution lead to landslides and mudslides. Toxic waste mixing in the water and land affects flora and fauna very adversely. Healthy air is replaced by smoke and soot that only contains harmful substances emitted through industries especially.
The waste also generates a very rotten smell that is impossible to tolerate. Soil pollution is also one of the main causes of the formation of barren land, which is useless and unproductive. All the nutrients in the soil have depleted, and total flora has decayed.
A land full of harmful toxins like lead and mercury makes it very hard to grow organic food items. It becomes very difficult for the children to play outside in such an unhealthy environment.
The effect of land pollution on soil, water, and the air is destroying our various ecosystems and posing a threat to its very existence.
- Effect on Climate: There has emerged an imbalance between different ecosystems. They all have been damaged and destroyed at great lengths so much so that it is directly affecting the climate of the planet and, therefore, contributing greatly to increasing global warming. Plants are destroyed, and trees are cut down for industrial and personal uses, and the human population is only increasing manifold day by day. The requirement of oxygen has increased, but the source is depleting faster than ever. The emission of carbon dioxide is soaring so much that it is heating our planet at a tremendous rate.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
- What are Some Diseases that can be Caused by Land Pollution?
Land pollution is one of the biggest environmental problems in present times. Improper waste management, rapid urbanization, and extensive usage of materials that are harmful to the environment are the biggest reasons behind the increasing levels of land pollution every year. As a result, the instances of diseases being caused due to land pollution are also on the rise. Some diseases that can be caused by land pollution are cholera, diarrhea, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and chronic kidney diseases, etc.
- What are Some Consequences of Land Pollution?
Land pollution in itself is a big environmental disaster, but it, in turn, leads to some serious consequences that have a bearing on living beings at multiple levels. Some of the most severe consequences of land pollution are
Water pollution: – The chemicals and other toxic material seep into the water sources, thus contaminating them.
Air pollution: – Pollution in the air is another severe consequence of land pollution as fumes from the waste filling the landfill sites are extremely harmful.
Soil erosion and barren land: – Land pollution also affects agricultural activities by increasing soil erosion and reducing the fertility of the land.