Types of soil pollution include agricultural soil pollution, soil pollution by industrial discharges and solid wastes, and pollution due to urban activities.Soil is sometimes polluted with substances including misplaced chemicals at higher concentrations that may have significant impact on humans and other living organisms.
The addition of liquid and solid wastes to soil causes an imbalance in its natural constituent and functions. Soil in both urban and rural areas is vulnerable to increasing pollution due to man’s activities. Agricultural activities such as use of pesticides and fertilizers significantly contribute to soil contamination. Continued use of these chemicals changes the natural composition of soil which in turn changes its functions. Chemicals in the soil are harmful to the organisms present and cause a disturbance in their natural habitat. In extreme cases, chemicals leach into groundwater causing soil pollution.
Runoff water also collects solid wastes and chemicals that end up in streams, rivers and lakes. Heavy metals such as lead, chromium and cadmium, inorganic acids and radioactive elements adversely contaminate the soil. Dumping inorganic solid wastes on the surface of the soil pollute the soil, because these materials do not decay and inhibit infiltration of water and air into the soil. The volatile compounds released by the soil into the atmosphere also cause air pollution.