Sunday, March 15, 2015

Effects on Human Health

There are many considerable effects of soil pollution and contamination.  An enormous result of contamination is the effect on human health.  Let’s think about it for a moment: soil is the main reason humans are able to sustain life.  The contamination of soil has enormous consequences on the health and well-being of humans. 

Unfortunately, crops and plants that are grown on polluted soil absorb a decent amount of pollution and pass the contaminants on to us when we eat and/or use the contaminated crops.  Long term exposure to contaminated soil can affect the genetic make-up of the body and can results in chronic health problems and congenital illnesses that don’t easily have a cure. 

The above image is an example.  It shows how different areas in the United States are vulnerable to nitrate contamination of ground water.  Generally, these areas have well-drained soils and high nitrogen input from fertilizer, manure, and atmospheric deposition.  Ground water is the sole source of drinking water for most rural communities and a variety of chemicals can pass through the soil and lead to the contamination of ground water.  This is just one example of the dangers of soil contamination.  Though nitrate isn't incredibly harmful to adults, infants whom ingest the contaminated water can have low oxygen levels.  This is just one chemical (nitrate) in one country.  Imagine all the chemicals over the planet and what effect they can play on the health of humans.  

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