Contamination

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The term “soil contamination” refers to the reduction of soil ecosystem capacity to perform its basic functions, as a result of contaminant deposition. Furthermore, the entrance of contaminants in soil is highly possible to cause water pollution, as well. Soil contamination comprises a special case of soil degradation and refers to its chemical degradation. The various chemical substances causing soil contamination may originate from either natural process (natural contaminants), or human activity.
 
The existence of chemical substances in soil does not necessarily constitute contamination. These chemical substances should constrain one or more soil functions in order to be designated as contaminants.

 


Contamination by hazardous waste storage

Main contaminant sources
Soil and water systems are the main recipients of pollution. Some industrial and commercial activities contaminate the soil in a great extent. Waste from agricultural and stock feeding waste, fertilizers and pesticides may pollute cultivated areas. Accidents and oil leakages, mine and quarry waste are yet some other causes of soil contamination. Furthermore soil is also the recipient of air pollutants which are deposited according to the conditions and the geomorphology of the terrain.

Soil receives all these substances and waste materials, which depending on the geomorphology of the terrain and other conditions, they pollute it locally or they diffuse to groundwater and other water systems. 

 


Contamination from storage and transportation of oil products

 
Consequences
Soil and groundwater contamination may have significant consequences on human health and nearby to the contaminated field ecological recipients. Soil contamination results in the malfunction of soil ecosystem and the reduction of the capacity to perform its basic functions. Furthermore the capability of soil to sustain the food chain is possible to be affected by the consequences of the contaminants on the flora and fauna of soil.

Consequences on the environment are also escorted by economical and social consequences. These are linked to the restoration cost, land prices, land usage and the ways that nearby areas are affected by the polluted field.