What is land pollution?
Land pollution is the destruction of the earth’s land surfaces,
often directly or indirectly as a result of human activities and
their misuse of land resources.
It occurs when waste is not disposed off properly, or can
occur when humans throw chemicals unto the soil in the
form of pesticides, insecticides and fertilizers during
agricultural practices. Exploitation of minerals (mining
activities) has also contributed to the destruction of the
Since the Industrial Revolution, natural habitats have been
destroyed, and environments have been polluted, causing diseases
in both humans and many other species of animals.
Human actions have also caused many large areas of land to lose
or reduce their capacity to support life forms and ecosystems. This
is know as land degradation.
So we shall see the more about Land and
Environmental Pollution, the sources of
the pollution, its consequences and a few
things we can do to prevent further
pollution and protect our environment.
Types of land pollution
•There are different types of land pollution
• These include all the various kinds of rubbish we
make at home, school, hospitals, market and work
• Things like paper, plastic containers, bottles, cans,
food and even used cars and broken electronic goods,
broken furniture and hospital waste are all examples of
• Some of these are biodegradable (meaning they easily
decay into organic matter). Examples include food
droppings, paper products as well as vegetation
• Others are not biodegradable, and they include plastics,
metals and aluminium cans, broken computer and car
•Because Solid Waste do not easily decay, they
pile up in landfills (a place where all the city’s
rubbish are sent), where they stay for thousands
of years. These bring great harm to the land and
people around it
•Many farming activities engage in the application of
fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides for higher crop yield.
This is good because we get more food
•But can you think of what happens
to the chemicals that are used on
the crops and soils?
•Sometimes, insects and small animals are killed and
bigger animals that eat tiny animals (as in food chains)
are also harmed. Finally, the chemicals may be washed
down as it rains and over time, they end up in the water
Give rise to Water Pollution.
•Chemical and nuclear power plants produce waste
materials that have to be stored somewhere. Fertilizer,
insecticides, pesticides, pharmaceuticals manufacturers
also produce lots of solid and liquid waste.
•In many cases they are stored in an environmentally safe way, but
there are some that find their way into landfills and other less safe
storage facilities. Sometimes they also find their way into leaking
pipes and gutters. They end up polluting soils and making crops
harmful to our health.
•Humans depend on trees for many things including
life. Trees absorb carbon dioxide (a green house gas)
from the air and enrich the air with Oxygen, which is
needed for life. Trees provide wood for humans and a
habitat to many land animals, insects and birds.
•Trees also, help replenish soils and help retain nutrients being
washed away. Unfortunately, we have cut down millions of acres of tree
for wood, construction, farming and mining purposes, and never
planted new trees back. This is a type of land pollution.
Sources of land pollution.
These include waste matter produced by crop, animal manure, and
farm residues. They also include the chemical left over of all
pesticides, fertilisers and insecticides used for agricultural activities
This includes piles of coal refuse and heaps of
slag and underground debris. Mining and forestry
activities that clear the land surfaces (clear
cutting) and use 'skid trails' often leave the land
unrestored . The surface is exposed to erosion
which destroys the quality of the land.
Additionally, iron and other chemicals such as copper,
mercury and lead from mining practices leach into the
soil, polluting it and leaving it exposed to water bodies
Quarrying and Mining Waste
Wastes that are left over after sewage has been treated,
biomass sludge, and settled solids. Some of these are sent
directly to landfills whiles other treatment plants burn them
to generate electricity. Both end up polluting the
These include waste like debris, wood, metals and plastics that
are produced from construction activities
These include paints, chemicals, metals and aluminum,
plastics and so on that are produces in the process of
This is when trees are cut down for economic purposes,
mining, farming and construction. In forests areas, trees
absorbed and reflect about 20% of the intense heat from the
sun, protecting and preserving its surface soils. Cutting down
trees mean that the land is exposed to direct sunlight and rain,
resulting in soil erosions, desertification and land degradation
Man is to blamed for most of
the land degradation.
Productive areas is fast
reducing because of
developmental activities such
as human settlement,
industries, roads , railways,
Dumping of solid wastes is
one of the most important
factors which are responsible
for the land pollution. In
developing countries like
India, the garbage and refuse
products are simply dumped
leading to land pollution.
Effects of land pollution.
There can be catastrophic consequences of land pollution in
relation to humans, animals, water and soils. The effects are
even worse if the garbage is not separated into organic, re-
usable and recyclable waste.
1. Soil pollution: Soil pollution is another form of
land pollution, where the upper layer of the soil is
damaged. This is caused by the overuse of chemical
fertilizers, soil erosion caused by running water
and other pest control measures; this leads to loss
of fertile land for agriculture, forest cover, fodder
patches for grazing etc.
The effects of land pollution are very hazardous and
can lead to the loss of ecosystems. When land is
polluted, it directly or indirectly affects the climate
2. Change in climate patterns:
3.Cause Air pollution:
Landfills across the city keep on growing due to
increase in waste and are later burned which leads to
air pollution. They become home for rodents, mice etc
which in turn transmit diseases.
When deforestation is committed, the tree cover is
compromised on. This leads to a steep imbalance in the
rain cycle. A disturbed rain cycle affects a lot of factors.
To begin with, the green cover is reduced. Trees and
plants help balance the atmosphere, without them we are
subjected to various concerns like Global warming, the
green house effect, irregular rainfall and flash floods
among other imbalances.
4. Environmental Impact:
The land when contaminated with toxic chemicals
and pesticides lead to problem of skin cancer and
human respiratory system. The toxic chemicals can
reach our body through foods and vegetables that we
eat as they are grown in polluted soil.
5. Effect on human health:
The city looses its attraction as tourist destination
as landfills do not look good when you move
around the city. It leads to loss of revenue for the
6. Distraction for Tourist:
The animal kingdom has suffered mostly in the past
decades. They face a serious threat with regards to loss of
habitat and natural environment. The constant human
activity on land, is leaving it polluted; forcing these species
to move further away and adapt to new regions or die
trying to adjust. Several species are pushed to the verge of
extinction, due to no homeland.
Other issues that we face include increased temperature,
unseasonal weather activity, acid rains etc. The discharge
of chemicals on land, makes it dangerous for the ecosystem
too. These chemicals are consumed by the animals and plants
and thereby make their way in the ecosystem. This process is called
bio magnification and is a serious threat to the ecology.
7. Effect on wildlife:
How to prevent land pollution
•Like many other challenges, the best best way to
solve problems is to understand it. This means
learning about it (like what you are doing now) is the
greatest step forward.
People should be educated and made
aware about the harmful effects of littering.
Discuss with friends and family and talk
The greatest prevention to land pollution is in the three
Reduce Waste, Re-use things and
Recycle things. This is true even for governments. They
can also use the three ‘R’ rule to minimize the amount of
waste that ends up in landfills. After the three 'R's,
remember to turn the rest of the garbge into compost.
Reuse any items that you can. Items like clothing, bottles, wrapping
paper and shopping bags can be used over and over again, rather
than buying new things.
Adoption of organic farming instead of using synthetic chemicals
Proper disposal of industrial wastes into secured landfill sites
Proper collection, transportation and disposal of municipal
Personal litter should be disposed properly. We can
separate household waste at home for recycling.
More than half of our household waste could be
recycled or re-used but once it is mixed up, it
becomes more difficult to separate different
components for recycling. This is also true for waste
we make at school or hospitals.
1.Buy biodegradable products.
2.Store all liquid chemicals and waste in spill-
3.Eat organic foods that are grown without
pesticides. Look out for fertilizer or pesticide free
products when you go to the market.
4.Don’t use pesticides if you can.
5.Buy products that have little packaging.
Wow! This is Easy!
So now you are aware
about causes of Land
Certainly a country that is
growing rapidly and developing
in various fields. but in the rapid
pace of development, many do
not realize that it also carries
side effects on the environment.
So we have to go Sustainable