Land Pollution

Land pollution is the deposition of solid and liquid waste in the soil and underground that contaminates it. Land pollutants occur through mining, pesticides, and dumping of trash.

Mining destroys the land.
Mining can cause dangerous chemicals to leech into the water, soil and air.
A farmer sprays herbicide over a rice field in Avignon, Suriname. Pesticides can cause cancer and other diseases.
Pesticides (such as DDT or dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) kill insects, especially mosquitoes. DDT also destroys bird eggs. DDT was banned in the USA and other countries, but it is still used in other countries.
Trash pollutes the land. When landfills fill up, it can cause contaminants to leak into rivers and streams. These contaminants can enter the food web. Animals can mistake trash for food.
Garbage contains dangerous pollutants (oil, chemicals, and ink) that leech into the soil. It is harmful for people, plants and animals.
Sometimes garbage is burned. Burning releases dangerous heavy metals and chemicals into the air. Land pollution can add to air pollution.

Review Question:

  • What is land pollution?
  • Name three ways land can be polluted?
  • How does mining damage the earth?
  • How does trash damage the earth?
  • Name an effect from pesticides?