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Rubbish Fact 7: What is contaminated soil?

Contaminated soil is soil which has been exposed to substances that could cause harm to humans or animals. Most contamination is man made rather than natural and can be caused via spillages of hazardous or harmful materials. But what are the main causes on contaminated soil?

Here are the 4 main causes of soil contamination:

4 main causes of contaminated soil

1. Spills

One of the most common causes of soil contamination is spills of chemicals or fuel oils. This can range from largescale industrial accidents down to leaks from domestic heating oil tanks.

2. Rubbish

Hazardous rubbish not disposed of correctly can be a major cause of land contamination. And that’s why ensuring proper waste disposal is so important.

3. Mining

Mining practices can release toxic chemicals into the air and soil. This affects nearby areas and local wildlife too.

4. Farming

Farming produces chemical pollutions via the heavy use of pesticides and herbicides. Which, in turn cause soil contamination. Animal waste can also cause contamination to soil and water supplies.

Contaminated Soil Facts

  • Once a site is identified as contaminated soil it is the responsibility of the instigator of the contamination to rectify. If this is not possible then responsibility lies with the owner or occupier of the land
  • In the UK alone, it is estimated over 100,000 sites are contaminated with between 5,000-20,000 of those thought to be serious soil contamination
  • Soil contamination is one of the few types of pollution that is visible. In comparison to air pollution where chemicals can not be seen, most types of soil contamination are visible. In fact, it is often one of the first signs that there is a problem
  • Some types of land contamination can have serious health effects to animals and humans. Although serious health consequences are not common in the UK, in Japan during the 1900’s a serious outbreak occurred when the chemical Cadmium was released into the Jinzu River owing to mining. Those that had contact with the river developed the ‘Itai Itai’ disease. This disease causes brittle bones, pain in the legs and spine, coughing and kidney failure

Site Solutions are well equipped to deal with the removal and treatment of contaminated soil nationwide. Haulage and treatment are organised, and all correct paperwork produced so customers can rest easy knowing that the job has been done correctly.