Soil pollution – behavior of pesticides

Soil pollution

‘Pesticides transmission in soil’ is the scientific and practical idea of pesticide problems in soil. This idea may be defined as a circumstance in which pesticide chemicals infiltrate the soil by spray drift during leaf treatment, wash-off from treated foliage, release from granulates, or seed treatment. Pesticides such as soil fumigants and nematocides, which are sprayed directly to the soil to control pests and plant diseases, may cause the same issue.

However, the chemical, physical, and biological features of the soils involved influence pesticide distribution, persistence, and degradation in this situation. Because of the relationship between soil variables and pesticide sorption/desorption, volatilization, degradation, absorption by plants, run-off, and leaching in soil medium, this is especially true.

Sorption is the most critical interaction between soil and pesticides, as it controls both degradation and soil movement. Pesticides attached to organic matter in the soil or clay particles are less mobile, bioavailable, and less susceptible to microbial breakdown, making them more persistent. The most significant element regulating pesticide sorption and leaching in soil is soil organic matter. In practise, increasing the volume and type of organic matter had a significant effect on pesticide sorption.

Humus-rich soil, for example, is more chemically reactive with pesticides than non-humified soil. Fast sorption occurs quickly after pesticide application and slows down over time; however, repeated application may increase sorption and the formation of bound, non-extractable residues. This pesticide transformation and degradation system has opened several doors for contamination and pollution in the soil. The consequences have a huge impact on soil and water quality, as well as the biological system in soil and human illnesses.

Soil quality, air quality, water quality, and human health concerns are all examples of ecological elements of these consequences. Pesticides influence practically all of the primary components of soil interaction systems, including the biosphere (organisms), lithosphere (rocks), hydrosphere (water), atmosphere, and pedosphere (soil). In a precise perspective of soil science as a scientific subject, these five components of ecosystem properly describe the soil, air, water, and human attributes.

1. Soil quality

Karlen and colleagues describe soil quality as “the capacity of a certain form of soil to operate, within natural or controlled ecosystem bounds, to sustain plant and animal productivity, maintain or improve water and air quality, and support human health and habitation.” When soil gets contaminated or polluted, its potential significance in this context may be impacted. Chemical concentrations, the deposition of new molecules, and the transmission of high manufactured or unnatural substances can all disrupt the surface and underlying soil components.

These acts might have a variety of soil repercussions, including surface soil turbidity, soil profile concentration, soil biological alterations, and soil structural degradation. Even from the standpoint of visible soil evaluation, this pollution may have an impact on surface soil types. Furthermore, soil porespaces may become contaminated and turbid. This might eventually have an impact on the soil medium’s physical, chemical, and biological characteristics, processes, and systems. The quantity of pesticide compounds in soil may have an impact on surrounding plants, forest trees, vegetative bushes, grazing grasses, and animals and wildlife.

2. Air quality

Air quality is a broad phrase that refers to an atmosphere in which the air is completely free of contaminated elements (slight, low, high, very high or even extremely high). Pollution conveyed by pesticide chemicals can alter the environmental aspect of air through a combination of environmental conditions. Typically, the emissions of pesticides in powder form, such as dust, have a significant impact on the surrounding air quality. Pesticide volatilization and evapotransmission also have an impact on air quality. Dust containing pesticide particles is a severe threat to the environment’s water quality as well as human health. Physical, chemical, and biological components of the global soil environment are all important health concerns.

3. Water quality

Water quality is a multifunctional notion that encompasses a wide range of particular attributes relating to the physical, biological, chemical, and ecological features of water that are ideal for the management and protection of human life, animal growth, and the biological cycle. When water is tainted by pesticide molecules, this viewpoint may be null and void. Physical fitness might be harmed, biological taste/flavor could be altered, and natural chemical composition could be destroyed.

As a result of the release of chemicals and pollutants into the process water, this occurred. For example, erosion of fine soil particles from a contaminated soil site, the release or leakages of discarded containers, and the transformation of the affected soil through runoff, snowmelt, and over-flow or flooding might all pollute water bodies. Infiltration, leaching, rainfall, percolation, and in-flow can all have an impact on subsurface water.

4. Human quality

Human quality can be linked to the notion of human population health and well-being from childhood to maturity. For success in all parts of agronomic operations, this dynamic system of human growth requires protection and care. When soil, air, and water become polluted and poisoned, human health suffers as a result. Soil was utilised for food security, water was used for drinking and other reasons, and air was used for breathing. Pesticides have an impact on these three aspects of the human ecology through contamination and pollution.

Multiple and complicated human diseases have resulted as a result of the issues, including cancers, inability to speak fluently, hormonal imbalances leading to infertility, breast pain, menstrual disturbances, adrenal gland exhaustion, early menopause, immune system dysfunction leading to immune suppression, and malnutrition. Understanding the complexity of pesticide residues and pesticide specifications can assist to reduce the damage. As previously stated, the combined FAO/WHO meetings are part of the efforts to attain this development. Awareness raised via seminars and instruction, particularly in rural parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, may be an extra benefit.

Soil Contamination’s Complex Activities

The most essential components of soil contamination were the complicated actions of pesticides in farm, garden, industrial developments, waste disposal, and overall environmental protection programmes. These complicated operations must be comprehended in order to facilitate rehabilitation and management.

1. Agricultural activities

Pesticide spraying operations on farms and in gardens lead to soil contamination and pollution in a variety of ways. Since the advent of technology in the areas of soil protection (pesticides) and soil fertility management, the use of pesticide chemicals has increased dramatically (fertilizers). These pesticides and fertilisers are synthetic compounds that breakdown into the soil’s numerous components, reducing the soil’s fertility and quality over time. A possible method using integrated soil fertility management and pest control might assist to better balance soil and plant health.

2. Waste disposal

This is another another hazardous practise that pollutes and contaminates the earth. Chemicals and packaging in large quantities constitute garbage that, if not managed and disposed of properly, can have a wide range of environmental consequences. Soils, land surfaces, surface and ground water, and biota are the most impacted components of the environmental ecosystem. It’s possible that the soil bodies will get polluted and contaminated with concentrated pollutants. At the surface and subterranean levels, this has an impact on the physical, chemical, and biological systems.

Soil structural disturbances and soil profile degradation are among the outcomes. Controlling the effects of unsustainable waste disposal operations and other related environmental challenges is always a challenge. There are several ways to do this; however, the following approach is seen to be particularly effective in the situation of Nigeria and other Sub-Saharan African countries.

Disposal of garbage in a secure and limited place far from township structures, as well as water bodies and animal habitats.

Stacking trash in stacks and disposing of it in a confined space, as in the instance of (a)

Creating and supplying a secure and restricted container for urgent garbage disposal, which may be monitored at least daily by the authority or environmental protection agency for probable disposal in prohibited locations, as in the case of (a).

Increasing public awareness through specific classes and lectures in both urban and rural regions may help people comprehend the true consequences of unsustainable trash disposal in cities. This might also aid in the proper disposal of garbage, such as in the instance of (a).

3. Other activities

Other actions, while not directly connected to pesticides chemical events, can lead to soil contamination and pollution. Mining, chemical disposal, accidental oil spills, and the incidence of acid rain are examples of industrial environmental companies. These complicated processes have remained in the soil for a long period, causing a variety of environmental soil issues. When government policies are implemented, it is possible to find a solution to these complicated operations. At all costs, the government owned the environment and the management obligations. As a result, policies must always be long-term in order to improve environmental protection at the local and national levels.


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