Soil contamination must be eradicated to ensure that the best produce is grown for consumption, (most important for organic farmers) first it has to be proved that the land and soil are of good quality, there are several things making up the soil, the basic organic material in the area that soil is made of, such as granite or limestone, then there are organisms that decompose like leaves, critter droppings, etc, the location of the land and elevation bottom of the valley or on a mountain slope, climate is also an important factor.
What happens when plants grow in contaminated soil? What happens when the plants are eaten?
It depends on what type of soil, the kind of toxins present and the severity of the soil contamination, as to how much or what enters the plant, basically sandy soil is less likely to hold on to chemicals, whereas soil containing more organic matter such as peat moss will hold on to contaminants more readily this has the effect of altering the metabolic state of the microorganisms soil is comprised of, thus the contaminates enter the food chain.
Soil contamination can also effect those who touch it, depending on the contaminant, when small animals borrow or humans dig in it, then if the soil becomes dry the contaminated dust particles can be inhaled, occasionally some serve contaminants in dust form, are absorbed into the skin.
What causes soil contamination?
Well there’s oil spills, pipe line leaks, toxic spills land that has been used previously for things such as factories, mining, gas stations and airports, all of these have contaminated soil beneath them, the heaps of unnatural stuff in the land fills leaching into the ground, in some countries crops are still sprayed with very toxic pesticides, over use of fertilizers, all these things are causing soil contamination around the world. When there are natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis facilities that hold toxins, oil and other chemicals become damaged or destroyed, their leaks and spills cause soil contamination, roughly 10 mi. of land southeast of New Orleans became contaminated, when over 1 million gallons of oil soaked into the earth after a hurricane, destroyed some holding facilities.
What are the concerns and health problems?
China has little legislation in place for the protection of land to guard against soil contamination, unfortunately it seems that over a 10th of the land has soil contamination, land is being irrigated by polluted water, the effects of soil contamination are devastating on people’s health causing kidney and liver problems and even leukemia.
That are thousands of sites with land pollution in North America and even greater numbers in other countries, some have not yet been identified whereas the United Kingdom has many legislative measures to prevent health issues from soil contamination, there are regulations in place for land use, from parks and playgrounds housing projects to allotment, as they understand the effect of soil contamination.