This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

It's Not All Dirt: Soil Contamination

1023 words - 5 pages

As a kid, I made the mistake of playing in the sandbox at my school. I was not aware that there were other chemicals inside the sandbox besides sand. I found out that there were chemicals in the sand only after I got a large, painful rash. Unlike pollution in rivers and the air, soil contamination is not easily detected. A person cannot detect this with the naked eye. And because of this, many people worldwide have suffered complications due to the contamination of soil. Soil contamination is a serious and often overlooked environmental concern that threatens the safety of the environment and those affected by it.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), soil contamination happens when solid or liquid matter that is hazardous enters soil from the earth. These substances can either become physically or chemically attached to soil particles or trapped between soil particles. It is possible for these contaminants to enter the soil in many ways. They can be spilled or buried into the soil. Chemicals from a smokestack can enter the soil or water that is polluted may flow over soil. Chemicals can also seep into the soil from factories, mines, and smelters.

In one instance in the 1960s, chemicals from Japanese mines were discovered to be the culprits of soil contamination. In Jinzu River Basin, a mysterious disease that softened the bones of rural inhabitants was on the rise. The disease was later discovered to be from cadmium from the local mines. This metal leached into soil where rice was being grown and when the inhabitants ate the rice they became sick. While cadmium is good for soldering, making compounds, and creating batteries, it is not good for human consumption because it is a poison.

Christina Larson writes that today China is hoping to learn from this case of soil contamination in Japan. Today, it is estimated that almost half of China’s provinces and administrative zones have soil that contain high levels of hazardous chemicals such as lead and arsenic. Lead has many uses and are proponents of ceramic, glass, batteries, and ammunition. Arsenic is used in the making of glass, preservation of wood, and even fattening of livestock. However both lead and arsenic can be toxic when ingested. Many of China’s industrial zones are severely impacted and crops that are grown around these zones can become contaminated. Chen Nengchang who is a scientist at Guangdong Institute of Eco-environmental and Soil Sciences believes that, “If we eat contaminated foods, it can cause damage to the kidneys, liver, and other organs. In children, there can be developmental problems”(3). Contaminated soil poses a great risk to human health because it can make the food we eat unsafe and lead to serious health complications.

There are many other ways that contaminated soil can adversely affect human health. Some substances found in soil can be absorbed by contact with our skin. The harmful chemicals in soil can enter the air...

Find Another Essay On It's Not All Dirt: Soil Contamination

pollution Essay

959 words - 4 pages compounds.Water pollution affects plants and organisms living in these bodies of water. In almost all cases the effect is damaging not only to individual species and populations, but also to the natural biological communities.Soil contamination or soil pollution is caused by the presence of xenobiotic (human-made) chemicals or other alteration in the natural soil environment. It is typically caused by industrial activity, agricultural chemicals, or

indigenous treatment of disease Essay

843 words - 3 pages Introduction: Overview of Soil Mechanics 1 A. What is "soil"? 1) Not "dirt"! 2) Soil is unconsolidated earthen material comprised of discrete mineral grains and decayed organic matter, along with inter− stitial gases and liquids. −> If the grains are "permanently" bonded or cemented together, the material is called "rock" or "stone". 3) Soils tend to be fairly complex and heterogeneous materials which feature a wide range of

[EMS] Environmental Management System

1272 words - 6 pages those chemicals spreading increases when they are carried by air. It is important to be careful when handling these toxins. Like I said before if large amounts of polluted soil are spread it could affect our health. Not only that, but it could alternate the ecosystem and all vegetation. Spill Response Plan Chemical spills and leaks happen much too often on construction sites. Individuals working on the site must be fully trained and know what

Gruinard Island Biological Warfare Testing

1228 words - 5 pages on the island, but did not contain anthrax. Results Decontamination efforts began on the island in June of 1986. The government hired the Languard Group, an independent contractor. The entire island was sprayed with a herbacide to kill all vegetation. Dead vegetation was then burned down to the dirt. 280 tons of 5% formaldehyde solution and seawater was then sprayed over the whole island and contaminated topsoil was removed. The

Construction and the Environment

1824 words - 7 pages go to plan, taking the place of its pre-use as a car dealership/petrol garage. Also the concern on the location in which it is set to take place near a residential area, taking into consideration its residents.•Soil Quality- the contamination of its previous use, and its new intended use. Who is liable for the investigations of the soil and the strategies of which will be used for remediation. Including the affect it will have on wildlife and

Carpet Cleaning Advice

661 words - 3 pages from air pollution, outside dirt that travels inside and cooking vapors. If allowed to remain in your carpet, it eventually will look lackluster as its color disappears beneath layers of soil. It's your personal decision whether to employ professionals to clean your carpet, or rent/buy home equipment and do-it-yourself (DIY). However, home carpet cleaning equipment is not as powerful as commercial systems. Cleaning an entire house is quite

Summary of The European Environment-State and Outlook 2010-Soil

658 words - 3 pages ”. That means some of the information available now do not reflect the current soil condition in Europe. So, soil degradation cannot be solved alone by using these information. All the food, which humans use, are produced on soil. Because of that, any damage to the soil will result in damage to food supply such as food shortage, and rising food costs. The trends of the major soil degradation are almost difficult to measure because they are

Farm to Table

1295 words - 5 pages , grow your own produce, and/or compare the prices of fresh, frozen, canned or dried varieties of food (Zelman). The more organic produce is purchased, the more our environment will benefit, too. Organic farming practices result in less soil and water contamination, conservation of water sources, preservation of soil and water quality, reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and waste recycling (Gold). This helps to create a healthier environment

Essay

729 words - 3 pages healthier prepare is healthier soil. Rotating fields between developing seasons to allow arrive chance to revive could be one vital step. Likewise, previous pesticides and composts energetic regarding natural developing routines area unit handy for the dirt, the manufacture and its purchasers. Supplementation and defence of sustenance things are getting used for a protracted time. even so, the absence of adequate supplements within the human

Public Health and Hyudraulic Fracturing

1150 words - 5 pages . Another possible contamination pathway that affects the ground water source could be soil contamination. Soil contamination occurs when drilling sludge, containing fracturing fluid, drilling mud, radioactive material from subsurface land formation, hydrocarbons, metals and volatile organic compounds, that are all brought up to the surface, which introduces them into the environment (Witter et.al. 2008:4). This sludge is then typically left to dry

Soil Salinization and Its Impact on Plants

1073 words - 5 pages impacts on plants, we can preserve the plants, keep the environment balanced, and help sustain life on it because if there was no plants, the air would be filled with carbon and there would not be any oxygen as well. So, humans have to develop ways to fight soil salinity and all soil degradations as well. References: 1- Provin, T., & Pitt, J. (n.d.). Managing Soil Salinity. Retrieved from http://soiltesting.tamu.edu/publications/E-60.pdf 2

Similar Essays

Immigrant Or Not, When On American Soil We All Have Rights

898 words - 4 pages rights of every human being on American soil. Now, if the subject of the matter were extraterritorial beings, this would be another argument. In an article by Macleod, she wrote a very important fact, “..a non-citizen is informed of her rights after the interrogation” (13). What does not make sense is the fact that non-citizens are interrogated and questioned like any other suspect would but without the rights. That is ridiculous. People may argue

The American Dream: It's Not All About Money

1227 words - 5 pages Publications, April 2009. Web. 19 Nov. 2010. Krugman, Paul. “Home Not-So-Sweet Home.” New York Times. 23 June 2008. Web. Tirman, John. "The future of the American frontier" American Scholar 78.1 (2009): 30+. Academic OneFile. Web. 9 June 2010. Ehrenreich, Barbara. “All Shopped Out.” Flip Side. 16 May 2008. Web.

Why Soil Is Good Essay

1357 words - 6 pages structures as houses or shopping malls, or maybe even numerous story office buildings. Although, most structures are not made of unadulterated dirt, "soil", most houses are made out of cement and concrete. In most cement and concrete amalgamates, there is at least a small portion of the mixture that is dirt. Soil is extremely helpful to build on top of to stable the building. Dirt makes building very effcent because, it is all over the ground and

Pollution Essay

959 words - 4 pages compounds.Water pollution affects plants and organisms living in these bodies of water. In almost all cases the effect is damaging not only to individual species and populations, but also to the natural biological communities.Soil contamination or soil pollution is caused by the presence of xenobiotic (human-made) chemicals or other alteration in the natural soil environment. It is typically caused by industrial activity, agricultural chemicals, or