Health, food production and environment at risk due to soil pollution: report
Ground Report | New Delhi: The soil, which produces about 95 percent of the food for us, is becoming a victim of the increasing craving of human beings. Due to which the threat not only to food production but also to health and the environment has increased significantly. For this, industrial activities, agriculture, mining, and urban pollution are mainly responsible for ignoring the environment. At the same time, improper management of waste, from chemical spills to accidents at nuclear power plants and increasing conflict and use of weapons are adding to its danger.
The information has recently appeared in the United Nations’ Global Assessment of Soil Pollution: Summary for Policy Makers , released by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).
Soil not only helps in food production, it also absorbs large amounts of carbon present in the atmosphere, thus it also helps us to fight climate change, one of the biggest threats of this time, but the way Due to which its pollution is increasing, it is having an impact on the entire ecosystem.
According to the report, heavy metals, cyanides, DDT, other pesticides, and long-lasting organic chemicals such as PCBs are poisoning the soil. Thousands of synthetic chemicals that can remain in the environment for hundreds of thousands of years are spread all over the world. They are affecting farm productivity, poisoning food and water, and harming wildlife and the environment. However, how much damage they are causing cannot be easily measured, which is why there is uncertainty about the actual damage they cause.
According to UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen, this increasing pollution in the soil cannot be seen with the eyes, but the quality of the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe is deteriorating. Which is having an impact on our health and the environment as well.
The report further said that at the beginning of the 21st century, the global production of industrial chemicals has more than doubled every year, which has been 230 million tonnes. Which is projected to grow by 85 percent by 2030.
Which means that if it is not taken care of today, then soil pollution will increase in future. At the same time, the way the use of antimicrobial drugs is increasing in agriculture and these drugs are polluting the soil, the danger has increased even more. At the same time, the increasing use of plastic is also a big problem in itself.
According to the report, different sources were responsible for soil pollution depending on the region. While industrial pollution is primarily responsible for this in Western Europe and North America, agriculture in Asia, South America and Eastern Europe has the greatest impact on soil health. Mining in sub-Saharan Africa and increasing urban pollution in North Africa are primarily responsible for increasing soil pollution.