Effects of land pollution
It is disturbing to think that the wonderful benefits of a healthy ecosystem are threatened by land and soil pollution. Hazardous chemicals in the soil can potentially wipe out living organisms in the soil. These organisms help to break down organic matter in the soil and help aerate the soil. A polluted land or soil will therefore not be able to support the plants and animals that depend on it in keeping food chains intact.
Anytime it rains, water washes the surfaces of these polluted lands and runs off to nearby water sources. All the dangerous chemicals and harmful litter such as plastics, glass and metal pieces are washed into water bodies. These make the waters unsafe for consumption and also harmful to animals that live in the water. In addition to this. Chemicals in the soil are leached further down into the water table, thereby polluting them in the process.
Vegetation plays a vital role in climate control, food, water purification, shelter and so on. The activity of mining, industry, landfills and the like are destructive to vegetation and threaten the benefits that vegetation provides.
There are many pollutants in soils that can be very harmful when exposed to humans over long periods. For example pollutants in soils such as Arsenic found in pesticides, mining of gold, lead and copper are toxic when exposed to humans. Long exposures to humans may cause arsenic poisoning. They can also cause skin, heart, liver, some kinds of cancers and neurological damage.
Landfills, littered communities and places with dirty landscapes are generally not attractive to tourists and visitors. This means such communities usually miss out on the value and benefits of tourism and investment. In some cities, there are very bad smells, lots of rats, mice and insects that spread diseases. These animals thrive in dirty places. Governments spend a lot of money cleaning up and managing trash and the polluted landscape. That money could have been used for other important things such as healthcare and education. Many landfills are always burning and they cause further air pollution.
More on Land Pollution Effects Here
Page 10Table 1: WHO ten chemicals of major public health concern in relation to soils and human health impacts. Sources: Brevik & Burgess (2013) and US Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (website): www.atsdr.cdc.gov. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/integration/research/newsalert/pdf/IR5_en.pdf Accesses on October 21, 2018