Beware of Diseases Due to Soil Pollution Around You

Although the issue of soil pollution is not widely known to the public, this type of pollution is still important to be aware of. In fact, not only water and air pollution, soil pollution can also have a negative impact on the environment and human health.

Soil pollution is pollution that occurs due to contamination of chemicals, microorganisms, heavy metals, or industrial waste in the soil. This pollution can occur in urban areas as well as in plantation or agricultural areas.

If not handled properly, soil pollution can cause environmental damage and the risk of various health problems.

Various Causes of Soil Pollution

Soil pollution can come from various sources, both natural and man-made, for example from garbage or factory waste. Here are some of them:

  • Heavy metals, such as arsenic, cadmium, mercury and lead
  • Disposal of oil and fuel
  • Chemicals to kill pests, such as pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilizers
  • Waste or residue from mining, including gold mining using mercury

Health Problems Due to Soil Pollution

Soil pollution, especially those that have occurred for many years, can cause damage to ecosystems and the natural environment. Worse yet, this pollution can also cause various health problems in humans. Among them:

1. Kidney disorders

Exposure to various toxic substances due to soil pollution, such as mercury and heavy metals, can make a person more at risk for kidney damage and impaired function. Even these toxic substances can cause chronic kidney failure and kidney cancer.

Not only contaminating the soil, mercury is also quite often pollutes the air and waters, including river water and sea water.

2. Cancer

In addition to causing poisoning, long-term exposure to metal arsenic, mercury and other toxic substances from polluted soil can also put you at risk for cancer, such as skin cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, and pancreatic cancer.

This is because substances that cause soil pollution are generally toxic and have a carcinogenic effect so that they can damage body cells and trigger the formation of cancer cells.

3. Problems with the reproductive organs

The next health problem due to exposure to pollution, including soil pollution, is the disruption of the reproductive system, both in women and men.

Various studies have shown that exposure to toxic substances and pollution can make menstrual cycles irregular, reduce sperm quality, decrease fertility, increase the risk of miscarriage, endometriosis, and ovarian cancer or testicular cancer.

4. Respiratory disorders

Pollution that comes from nature, such as petroleum, or factory waste, such as mercury, asbestos, arsenic, and heavy metals, can also have an impact on the health of the respiratory organs.

Various studies suggest that polluting substances in the soil may also be found in the air and water. Exposure to these polluting substances over time can cause respiratory problems and diseases, such as COPD, asthma, and lung cancer.

5. Nervous and hormonal disorders

Soil pollution can also contaminate the plants we eat, such as fruits and vegetables. When you eat food that is exposed to toxic substances from fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides, these toxins can enter the body.

In the long term, this can cause organ damage, such as nerve disorders. Exposure to toxic substances from soil pollution can also cause hormonal disorders, such as the hormones estrogen and progesterone.

6. Congenital abnormalities or defects in the fetus

Exposure to heavy metals, such as mercury, arsenic, cadmium, and lead, can cause abnormalities or defects in the fetus. Usually this happens when pregnant women are exposed to toxic substances from pollution, then these toxins are carried to the placenta and enter the fetus's body.

Various abnormalities or diseases that can occur in the fetus due to exposure to pollution include brain and nervous system damage, kidney disorders, congenital heart disease, and genetic disorders.

In addition, exposure to toxic substances in the fetus can also put him at high risk of being born prematurely, born with low birth weight, or dying in the womb.

Tips for Reducing the Risks and Hazards of Soil Pollution

In order to avoid the various health problems above, you can apply the following tips to stay away from exposure to soil pollution:

  • Make it a habit to wash your hands before and after eating, touching dirty objects, and touching the ground.
  • Always wear shoes or footwear when going out and take them off before entering the house.
  • Place the mat in front of the door of the house to prevent soil from getting in.
  • Keep the house clean by mopping the floor every day and wiping windows and furniture with a damp cloth
  • If you have pets, try to wash them frequently and keep them clean so that there is no soil attached to them.
  • If you are concerned that your food is at high risk of soil pollution, you can choose organic vegetables and fruits that generally use natural fertilizers and do not use pesticides.

It is important to remember, to minimize the risk of soil pollution, you are also advised to maintain a good cleanliness of the surrounding environment, such as throwing garbage in its place instead of dumping it into the ground.

If you live in an area that is close to a source of soil pollution, or think you are experiencing some health problems that may be caused by soil pollution, don't hesitate to get it checked by a doctor.