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Environment - Soil and Air Pollution and Pollution Control

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Last Updated: 01-03-2023

Components of the Environment

- The environment contains both living (Biotic) and non-living things (Abiotic).
- Living components are Animals and Plants
- Non-living things are mainly Air, Water and Soil.

[Definition: Pollution - It is the introduction of harmful substances to the environment known as pollutants.]

Soil Pollution

Some of the major soil pollutants are:
  • Farm chemicals such as fertilizers and herbicides
  • Domestic and industrial waste
  • Poor disposal of metal, plastics and other non-decomposing materials such as polyethene and rubber
  • Oil Spillage
  • Dumping of raw sewage and industrial waste
  • Burning of vegetation

Effects of Soil Pollution?

  • Use of chemicals, burning vegetation and harmful disposal of domestic and industrial waste kills micro organisms in the soil
  • Oil spillage interferes with the circulation of air in the soil
  • Plastics and other non-decomposing materials interfere with plants' root development

Conservation of the Soil

  • Avoid burning of vegetation
  • Use organic fertilizers other than non-organic ones
  • Conserve soil moisture through mulching
  • Take measures to control soil erosion such as afforestation, contour farming and more
  • Adopt good measures to dispose both industrial and domestic waste
  • Avoid excessive use of farm chemicals

Air Pollution

Some of the major air pollutants are:
  • Cigarette smoking as it produces harmful carbon monoxide
  • Burning of plastics and rubber
  • Vehicle exhausts
  • Farm chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides
  • Aerosol sprays such as insecticides
  • Industrial gases produced as waste such as sulphur
  • Dust

Effects of Air Pollution

  • Carbon monoxide from cigarettes, burning charcoal and vehicle exhausts can cause death through suffocation
  • Tar from cigarettes causes lung cancer
  • Dust leads to respiratory problems such as asthma and in plants it covers leaves interfering with a plant's respiratory system, photosynthesis and transpiration
  • Industrial waste gases from acid rain which destroys roofs
  • Aerosol sprays destroy the ozone layer leading to global warming

Controlling Air pollution

  • Public cigarette smoking should be discouraged
  • Plastics and rubber should not be openly burned
  • Vehicles should use unleaded fuel and be maintained
  • Use of farm chemicals should be reduced
  • Industrial waste gases should be treated before being released into the air.

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