Green Wiki

Land Pollution is the deterioration (destruction) of the earth’s land surfaces, often directly or indirectly as a result of man’s activities and their misuse of land resources.

It occurs when waste is not disposed of properly, or can occur when humans throw chemicals onto the soil in the form of pesticides, insecticides and fertilizers during agricultural practices. Exploitation of minerals (mining activities) has also contributed to the destruction of the earth’s surface.

  • One gallon of oil can pollute 4 acres of soil
  • One barrel of oil can pollute 168 acres of soil
  • One gallon of paint can pollute 1 acre of soil
  • One gallon of gasoline can pollute 3 acres of soil
  • One gallon of road salt can pollute 48/3125 acres of soil
  • One ton of salt can pollute 8/5 acres of soil
  • Mercury from one thermometer can pollute 20 acres of soil
  • Mercury from one fluorescent light bulb can pollute 3/125 acres of soil
  • One American mine can pollute 2,700 acres of soil each year
  • One gallon of diazinon can pollute 12 square miles of soil
  • One cellphone can pollute 87/625 acres of soil
  • One metric ton of Hg can pollute 31,250 square miles of soil
  • One ton of coal can pollute 880 acres of soil
  • One ton of paper can pollute 8% acres of soil
  • One gallon of antifreeze can pollute 4% acres of soil


Soil pollution can be caused by the following (non-exhaustive list!):

  • Pb
  • Hg
  • Rn
  • Al
  • Cd
  • Oil drilling
  • Mining and activities by other heavy industries
  • Accidental spills as may happen during activities, etc.
  • Corrosion of underground storage tanks (including piping used to transmit the contents)
  • Acid rain (in turn caused by air pollution)
  • Intensive farming
  • Agrochemicals, such as pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers
  • Industrial accidents
  • Road debris
  • Drainage of contaminated surface water into the soil
  • Waste disposal
  • Oil and fuel dumping
  • Nuclear wastes
  • Direct discharge of industrial wastes to the soil
  • Landfill and illegal dumping
  • coal ash
  • Electronic waste
  • ammunitions and agents of war