Soil health, is it ok?

People used to think that the soil is something that doesn’t need care … but the reality is complete opposite. The overuse of pesticides, insecticides and the pollution that is caused on a daily basis by the uncontrolled dumping, the chemical industry spills, etc. affect our environment, our soil and obviously our health.

If we mapped out a map of the subsurface we would be able to understand its complexity and how important is its preservation. The soil acts as a natural filter, soil minerals, organic matter and multitude of soil organisms are part of its structure. Soil can degrade and detoxify organic and inorganic harmful substance that enters soil with industrial and municipal by-products or through atmospheric deposition. Soil can absorb contaminants from water, air and through their incorporation by humans. Some of these compounds are then degraded by microorganisms in the soil. But… when the soil sorption system is overloaded some contaminants can be released and when their concentrations exceed the quality standards, the soil is renamed as a “contaminated site”.

In order to establish the magnitude of this problem and define the actions to be undertaken it is necessary to diagnose its quality and the risk posed for human health. This risk will depend on their who’s?? exposure to existing sources. These ways of exposure may be through direct inhalation, direct contact, and consumption of vegetables, meat or water affected by pollutants.

Ways of exposure to pollution sources

For years, progress in the diagnostic and remediation technologies has been made giving the immense biography that we can find throughout the science library.  From the ADVOCATE project, we invite you to visit our webpage (theadvocateproject.eu), know more about our research topic and the outcomes that are being achieved. Our aim is to develop innovative in-situ approaches for sustainable management and remediation of soil and groundwater contamination.

For further information about this topic, take look at this article:

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/integration/research/newsalert/pdf/IR5.pdf