Welcome to my 'What is Land Pollution?' post!
First of all, I must congratulate you for taking the time to do your research on this topic of green living. Since the industrial revolution, human beings have been contaminating water, land, and air at an increasing rate with negative impacts on our quality of life, health, and environment.
Understanding the many causes will give us the information need to work towards solutions and prevent further damage. Can we restore planet Earth to its healthy state?
As a qualified teacher, I am passionate about education and the impact it can have on bettering our future. It is down to us individuals to do our research and make small changes to the way we live our lives.
These small changes are easy to make and can have a big impact on our health, the health of our family and our environment. This website is designed for everyday people looking to make these changes. Here you will learn a legitimate way to go green.
Let me be completely transparent with you, I am not here to pitch or sell anything to you. I am here to reveal and to assist you on your journey of going green!
Pollution & Land Pollution...
Pollution is the process where air, water, land, and other parts of the biosphere become dirty, contaminated, and unsafe to use. This is normally caused by the introduction of harmful contaminants into our natural environment. Contaminants do not need to be tangible. There are other things such as sound, light, and temperature, which can also be considered pollutants that are introduced into the environment artificially.
Land pollution refers to the contamination of soil and the top layer of the Earth's surface. It is the deterioration or degradation of our land caused by xenobiotic chemicals and other changes in our natural environment. Likewise, it is the deposition of solid or liquid waste materials under the ground. As a result, the materials contaminate the groundwater and soil. Land pollution on the planet was non-existent for millions of years, until recently.
Facts & Statistics...
- Every year, an American produces around 3285 pounds of waste;
- In the U.S, people generate around 30 billion foam cups, 1.8 billion diapers, and 220 million tires every year;
- Americans can recycle over 80% of items in the landfill sites, however, many are not doing so;
- Americans throw away daily and fill around 60,000 garbage trucks per day;
- Landfill sites are the main contributor to both air and land pollution;
- Hazardous wastes that cause land pollution are responsible for the loss of 24 billion tons of topsoil per year.
What is Land Pollution?
Soil is that the earth’s fragile skin that anchors all life on Earth. it's comprised of countless species that make a dynamic and sophisticated ecosystem and is among the foremost precious resources to humans. Did you know that it is possible to lose soil? Over the past 150 years, we have lost half of the planet's topsoil.
Land pollution is one of the major problems around the globe and is caused by several different factors. Typically, land pollution occurs when chemicals are disposed of incorrectly. For example, human waste disposal, landfills, deforestation, erosion, agricultural chemicals, mining, other industrial activity, as well as construction and urbanization are the primary causes of land pollution.
There are several different methods used for managing waste. Environmentally-friendly options include the reduction and reuse of products via animal feeding, composting, fermentation, and recycling. Toxic methods include landfills and incineration.
A well-managed landfill site would have allocated areas for the correct disposal of different materials such as paper, glass, green waste, metals, plastic, oil, liquid chemicals, batteries, and electrical items. Unfortunately, the majority of waste disposal sites are poorly managed. The majority of waste disposal centers typically use only one of two toxic methods - landfill and incineration.
When waste is disposed of in landfill sites, methane is released into the atmosphere. Methane is a greenhouse gas that results in climate change. The incineration of waste is one of the leading factors of air pollution. It releases chemicals such as dioxin, lead, mercury, and greenhouse gas emissions into the air, risking the health of local communities and contributing to global warming.
Many developing countries have little or no waste disposal systems and waste is left to rot everywhere.
Deforestation is caused by wood extraction (logging and domestic fuel), agriculture expansion, and urbanization such and the building of roads. Deforestation results in the loss of vegetation cover which accelerates the process of erosion. It too decreases the value of land, stripping it of its natural resources. Soil is a non-renewable source, it is impossible to restore to its natural state.
Deforestation contributes to global warming in two ways. Firstly, by removing the trees that convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, deforestation increases the levels of carbon dioxide in the air. Secondly, the removal of the earth's vegetation cover exposes it to direct sunlight, increasing the temperature radiating from the land.
For many countries, mining is an important aspect of their industry. We mine a wide variety of sources from the ground and use them for modern living.
However, it can be very detrimental to human health and our planet, resulting in the pollution of our natural resources, harm to the biodiversity of habitats, and erosion of the land.
Construction & Urbanisation...
There is a global transition from living off the land to living in more urban areas. It is predicted that in the future, almost all the world population growth will take place in towns and cities. Although urbanization is happening at different rates all over the world, this transition is causing an increased rate of land pollution, affecting the earth's natural systems.
Urbanized areas create a microclimate, resulting in increased temperatures affecting rainfall, snow, wind, and air pressure. Building designs also play a role in urban microclimates. Until recent years, the majority of the buildings designed and urban planning in cities did not consider environmental issues.
When people lived on the land, mixed farming techniques were adopted by many people. These methods support the land's ability to care for itself, by using and replenishing a variety of nutrients. Now people have moved into high populated areas, and farming is now conducted at the industry level where they practice the production of one crop.
Increased demand for agriculture generates incentives for people to convert forests and grasslands to farming land. This process results in the loss of soil. Then the farming of one crop results in increased erosion and the soil losses its ability to take care of itself. Infertile land increases the chances of flooding too.
On top of this, many modern farming techniques contaminate the soil with the use of fertilizers, pesticides, and insecticides. These biological contaminants and chemicals that are not naturally present in the food items. when they come in contact with food the produce they pollute them.
Many industries create pollution. Industrial pollution impacts the quality of air, drinking water, land, and human health. Industrial mistakes and one of the leading causes of environmental disasters, which are yet to be brought under control. Countries that have rapid industrial growth have a serious problem with industrial pollution which needs quick and effective attention.
The main causes of industrial pollution are a lack of pollution control policies, careless industrial growth, using outdated technologies, large numbers of small scale industries, waste disposal, and depleting our natural resources.
Effects on the Environment...
The contamination of land has devastating effects on the environment and go beyond the loss of fertile land. We have increased pollution in our waterways, which has effects on our drinking water and is causing a decline in fish and other species in our ecosystems. Here is some information on the catastrophic consequences we are currently facing:
Eroded land has less capable of retaining water and is therefore prone to flooding. This natural disaster is dangerous for people and causes pollutants to travel from pollution hotspots such as waste handling facilities, wastewater treatment plants, liquid waste treatment facilities, and contaminated sites. Therefore land pollution has a ripple effect, increasing the spread of pollution.
Groundwater poisoning occurs when inorganic products such as oil, gasoline, chemicals, and salts get into the water under the ground and subterranean rivers. This makes it unsafe for human use, contributing to water pollution issues and reducing the amount of clean water available on the planet.
Leaching is the process where materials from the surface of the land can move through the soil and get into the groundwater. It occurs in landfills, farms, and industrial sites. Leaching is a big contributor to groundwater poisoning.
Eutrophication (Nutrient Enrichment)...
Human activity changes how water moves through our landscapes. For example, we clear natural landscapes for agriculture, urban development, and the construction of water drainage the transports water from the land to our waterways. As a result, our waterways and estuaries do not have enough vegetation to effectively make use of the excess nutrients that build up in these areas.
This problem is accelerated by the agricultural use of fertilizer, animal manure, and the variety of vegetation on land. Nitrogen and Phosphorus are the main concern. Although they are non-toxic when naturally occurring in nature, they have a detrimental effect on the health of our waterways.
large amounts of these nutrients encourage the growth of algal and result in toxic algal blooms. When these blooms die they decompose and remove oxygen from the water. This has caused large scale deaths of fish.
Loss of Topsoil...
Modern-day, industrial farming techniques, requires the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers to produce crops on a large scale. This affects the composition of the topsoil. The soil becomes susceptible to fungus, which are harmful species that cause erosion of soil.
Over 95% of our food industry relies on fertile topsoil for production. Higher quality soil produces healthier produce. Without reformations to agriculture and other factors impacting our topsoil, we could run out of the soil we need to generate food.
Land pollution is causing animals to relocate and find new sources of food, water, and shelter. The change is traumatic for some animals, which has caused the death of some species. According to the EPA, some species are at higher risk of extinction.
Increased Risk of Wildfires...
Environmental pollutants create dry conditions in the soil that lead to wildfires. These fires can quickly spread due to the polluted land and dry conditions. Increased heat waves and outdoor temperatures are causing an influx in the number of incidents we are seeing worldwide today.
Also, wildfires can lead to a large temporary increase in environmental pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, acetaldehyde, formaldehyde, and carbon monoxide.
Effects on Human Health...
Land pollution causes many adverse effects on the human body due to the exposure of chemicals and toxic waste. Most of these health conditions develop after a person is exposed to waste from soil contamination and water poisoning. Brain damage, heart disorders, cancer, deformities, skin problems, chronic respiratory disease, and negative impact on cognitive development are the health effects caused by land pollution.
Modern farming results in the contamination of our food. Harmful chemicals get into food in a variety of ways such as food grown with polluted water and agricultural chemicals such as fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, and pesticides.
These chemicals have harmful effects on the human body. They contain asbestos, cadmium, cyanide, mercury, chromium, and arsenic. These elements are cancer-causing and can lead to kidney cancer, lung cancer, and liver damage.
There are many different things that normal people can do to reduce land pollution and these actions can be viewed in six different categories.
- Make people aware of the concept of Reduce, Recycle, and Reuse;
- Reduce the use of pesticides and fertilizers in agricultural activities;
- Buy biodegradable products;
- Do Organic gardening and eat organic food that will be grown without the use of pesticides;
- Plant more trees;
- Make your opinions heard to implement policy changes.
Some governments and their officials are more supportive of green initiatives than others. Therefore, it is important to understand the procedure for policy change to ensure we see the changes we need.
Every state, country, and the government will have a different procedure for making policy changes, however, there is a common principle... when enough people stand behind a concept, the government must listen!