Soil Pollution Essay

2423 Words Dec 20th, 2009 10 Pages
SOIL POLLUTION

INTRODUCTION

Soil is the thin layer of organic and inorganic materials that covers the Earth's rocky surface. The organic portion, which is derived from the decayed remains of plants and animals, is concentrated in the dark uppermost topsoil. The inorganic portion made up of rock fragments, was formed over thousands of years by physical and chemical weathering of bedrock. Productive soils are necessary for agriculture to supply the world with sufficient food. A soil pollutant is any factor which deteriorates the quality, texture and mineral content of the soil or which disturbs the biological balance of the organisms in the soil. Pollution in soil has adverse effect on
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The remnants of such pesticides used on pests may get adsorbed by the soil particles, which then contaminate root crops grown in that soil. The consumption of such crops causes the pesticides remnants to enter human biological systems, affecting them adversely. An infamous herbicide used as a defoliant in the Vietnam War called Agent Orange (dioxin), was eventually banned. Soldiers' cancer cases, skin conditions and infertility have been linked to exposure to Agent Orange. Pesticides not only bring toxic effect on human and animals but also decrease the fertility of the soil. Some of the pesticides are quite stable and their bio- degradation may take weeks and even months.
Pesticide problems such as resistance, resurgence, and heath effects have caused scientists to seek alternatives. Pheromones and hormones to attract or repel insects and using natural enemies or sterilization by radiation have been suggested. Today, agriculture has become an industry, named intensive farming, that produces more on quantity than on quality to maximize profits. So, a huge of pesticides is used to fight parasite insects, moulds and herbs that can destroy part of all our crops. The problem is that the residues of these pesticides are toxic for human beings when present in the vegetable products we consume and when they remain and accumulate in the soil.

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