When it comes to knowing the meaning of the term soil contamination, it is necessary, first of all, to discover the etymological origin of the two main words that give it its shape:
-Contamination derives from the Latin “contaminatio”, which, in turn, derives from the verb “contaminare” which can be translated as “dirty” or “corrupt”.
-Soil also has its origin in Latin. In your case, exactly in the word “solum”.
When we mention the idea of contamination, we are referring to the act and the result of contaminating : generating, through physical or chemical agents, a harmful alteration in the natural or normal characteristics of something.
There are different types of pollution, such as environmental pollution, air pollution, and water pollution. In this case we are going to focus on soil contamination : the degradation of the properties of a land.
When the soil is contaminated, it can no longer be used by humans for cultivation. But also the soil cannot fulfill its natural functions due to the modification of its conditions.
Soil contamination can be caused by the spillage of chemical substances (such as pesticides, for example), the accumulation of radioactive substances or the leaks of sewage, to name a few possibilities. It is important to note that the health risk goes beyond direct contact with contaminated soil, as contamination can even reach groundwater.
Atomic tests, so-called agricultural technology and even the dumping of plastics are other causes that can lead to soil contamination. That without forgetting the so-called land compaction.
Among the main consequences of the aforementioned contamination, in addition to the damage it causes to health, there are some such as these:
-There is a direct and forceful attack against the vegetation, which will gradually degrade because the soil is no longer suitable.
-The above consequence will also bring with it that animal species are seriously harmed. Hence, not only is the food chain dramatically altered, but many species can get serious.
-It directly affects the landscape, which will degrade clearly and forcefully.
-The possibility of drinking water is difficult.
Suppose an edible plant grows in contaminated soil. When people and animals eat these plants, harmful substances can enter their bodies. In this way, soil contamination can cause poisoning, be it mild or severe.
To protect the health of individuals and the subsistence of fauna and flora, therefore, it is essential that governments protect soils and control their condition. Contaminated soils affect the quality of life and can compromise the future of a population.
In order to avoid soil contamination and these adverse consequences, it is necessary that, in addition to the actions of governments and administrations, other solutions such as recycling are chosen. And is that many of the items that end up contaminating the ground, such as bottles or bags, can have a new useful life.