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Test Reviewer in Earth Science

Soil is one of the three major natural resources, alongside air and water. It is one of the marvellous
products of nature and without which there would be no life.

Soil helps sustain life on Earth including your life. You already know that soil supports the growth of
plants, which in turn supply food for animals. Therefore, soil provides you with nearly all the food you
eat.

Decomposers in soil also help recycle nutrients by breaking down the remains of plants and animals,
releasing nutrients that living plants use to grow.

Land-use practices can harm soil. The way people use land can affect the levels of nutrients and
pollution in soil. Any activity that exposes soil to wind and rain can lead to soil loss. Farming,
construction and development, and mining are among the main activities that impact soil resources.

FARMING

Over the 10,000 years humans have been farming, people have continually improved their farming
methods. However, farming has some harmful effects and can lead to soil loss. Farmers often add
nutrients to soil in the form of organic or artificial fertilizers to make their crops grow better.

All over the world, farmers clear trees and other plants and plow up the soil to plant crops. Without
its natural plant cover, the soil is more exposed to rain and wind and is therefore more likely to get
washed or blown away.

Overgrazing occurs when farm animals eat large amounts of the land cover. Overgrazing destroys
natural vegetation and causes the soil to wash or blow away more easily.

Deforestation- cutting down of trees without replacing.

CONSTRUCTION

To make roads, houses, shopping malls, and other buildings, people need to dig up the soil. Some of
the soil at construction sites washes or blows away because its protective plant cover has been
removed. The soil that is washed or blown away ends up in nearby low lying areas, in rivers and
streams, or in downstream lakes or reservoirs. This soil can cause problems by making rivers and lakes
muddy and harming the organisms that live in them. The build up of soil on riverbeds raises the level
of the rivers and may cause flooding.

SOURCES OF EROSION

• Agricultural Depletion

Farming can degrade the topsoil and lead to an increase in erosion.

• Overgazing Animals- Grazing animals are animals that live on large areas of grassland. They
wander over the area and eat grasses and shrubs. They can remove large amounts of the
plant cover for an area.

• Deforestration -is another practice that can greatly increase the rate of erosion in a region. One
of the most important barriers to erosion is plant life, as long lived treeas and other species put
down roots that literally help hold thhe soil together.

• Mining- many mining techniques involve shifting large amounts on earth, such as strip mining or
mountain top removal the operations leave large amounts of loose soil.

• Development and Expansion-Construction of buildings often begins clearing the area of any
plants or other natural defenses against soil erosion.
• Recreational Activities -driving vehicles off road an even greater amount of erosion occurs when
people drive off road vehicles over an area.

HUMAN ACTIVITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Types of Wastes

 Solid Waste - are any discarded or abandoned materials.

Examples

waste tires

septage

scrap metal

latex paints

furniture and toys

garbage

appliances and vehicles

oil and anti-freeze

empty aerosol cans, paint cans and compressed gas cylinders

construction and demolition debris, asbestos

• Liquid Waste - These liquids that are hazardous or potentially harmful to human health or the
environment.

Examples -wastewater, fats, oils or grease, used oil, liquids, solids, gases, or sludges and
hazardous household liquids.

• Gaseous Waste - due to the increase of factories, industrial areas and the number of vehicles, a
large amount of gaseous wastes are coming to the atmosphere.

-are oxides of carbon, sulphur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, hydrocarbons, aerosols, carbon
monoxide, methane, Green house gases like chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) etc.

How to dispose large volume of waste?

Landfill - is a site for the disposal of waste materials by burial

Incineration - the destruction of something, especially waste material, by burning.

Possible hazards associated with waste improper disposal


Waste Management & Soil Contamination

• Ideally, we would like our plastic, glass, metal and paper waste to end up at a
recycling facility. It then returns to us as a renewable product. But the reality is
entirely different. Have a look at the informative image below.

• Water Contamination via Improper Wastes

-Water is an excellent solvent; it can contain numerous dissolved chemicals. As a


result, while moving through, water picks up pollution along the way. It often has
dissolved substances like various chemicals and gases. Rainfall easily mixes to toxic
liquid substances and seeps into the water streams to end up in nearby water bodies.
Thus, the neighbourhood fountain, pond, lake or even drinking water taps are
susceptible to the dangers of contamination.

 Severe Weather Due to Climate Contamination

Firstly, harmful greenhouse gases are created from decomposing waste. These rise up
to the atmosphere and trap heat. This adversely causes extreme weather reactions in
the form of storms and typhoons.

 Harm Towards Animal and Marine Life


-Despite strict measures to stop it, we keep seeing the continual dumping of
garbage, raw or untreated sewage. Any animal or marine life coming in contact
gets impacted in the worst of ways. The inevitable formation of algal bloom
and clusters contaminates and eventually suffocates marine life such as coral
and fish.

 Human Damage
Consider the majority of the human population where we do not see any
scientific waste management system. Such places may possess a system, but
there is no disposal area to be found. Additionally, when we come in contact
with waste, it causes skin irritation and blood infections.

Government Regulation
-Republic Act No. 9003
• is an act providing for an ecological solid waste management program,
creating the necessary intitutional mechanicsm and incentives,
declaring certain acts prohibited and providing penalties, appropriating
funds therefor, and for other purposes.

Prohibited acts includes:

• Littering, throwing, dumping of waste matters in public places.

• Open buring of solid waste

• Causing non segregated waste

• Open dumping, burying of biodegradable materials in flood prone areas

• Construction of establishment within 200 meters from dump sites or sanitary landfills.

OTHER SOURCES OF WASTE AND IMPACT

1.Industrial Waste

the waste produced by industrial activity which includes any material that is rendered
useless during a manufacturing process such as that of factories, industries, mills, and
mining operations.

2. Agricultural Waste - is waste produced as a result of various agricultural operations.


It includes manure and other wastes from farms, poultry houses and slaughterhouses;
harvest waste; fertilizer run- off from fields; pesticides that enter into water, air or
soils; and salt and silt drained from fields.

3. Biomedical Waste - Any waste which is generated during the diagnosis, treatment
or immunization of human beings or animals or in research activities pertaining
thereto or in the production or testing of biological.