The Effects of Soil Pollution on Human Health

Written by charles pearson
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The Effects of Soil Pollution on Human Health
Soil can contain unexpected toxins that can be hazardous to human health. (0296-pollution image by Michel Bazin from

Water and air pollution can be reduced or eliminated by the use of filters. Also, water and air pollution tend to diffuse on their own over time and also merge with other chemicals to form harmless compounds. But soil absorbs pollution like a sponge. Soil pollution can remain inert until it is ingested by a human and causes sometimes-disastrous health effects.

Soil Fertility

Soil pollution reduces soil fertility, according to Tutor Vista. This can be harmful for various parties. Businesses usually prefer to have grass because the grass makes their properties look more attractive. Homeowners often prefer to grow a variety of plants around their homes, such as flowers. The land will not be usable by agriculture, either. This can lead to inadequate food-crop production, which can negatively affect human health.


Many chemicals and salts can increase soil acidification, according to the World Health Organization. Acid-loving soils tend to be toxic to human health.


Soil pollution can leach into the groundwater and end up in drinking supplies, according to the World Health Organization. Directly consuming the contaminated water can cause health effects associated with the types of chemicals that are in the water.

Direct Contact

Human health can be severely affected by direct contact with contaminated soils, according to Omtex Classes. For example, building a playground on a contaminated site can be disastrous since the children will tend to come into heavy contact with the contaminated soil and their development can be drastically harmed. Chromium has been linked to cancer. Lead has been linked to brain damage and kidney damage. Mercury can lead to both liver and kidney damage.

Child Development

While adults can be harmed by soil pollution, children are at a much higher risk of contamination, according to Environmental Pollution Centers. Children's smaller bodies mean soil pollution can get ingested into their bodies at much higher relative quantities. Also, children do not take many of the precautions that adults take, including eating harmful substances. Children are still developing, and their development can be harmed by pollution.

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