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Soil contamination is the presence of man-made chemicals or other alteration in

the natural soil environment. This type of contamination typically arises from the
rupture of underground storage tanks, application of pesticides, percolation of
contaminated surface water to subsurface strata, leaching of wastes
from landfills or direct discharge of industrial wastes to the soil. The most common
chemicals involved are petroleum hydrocarbons, solvents, pesticides, lead and
other heavy metals. This occurrence of this phenomenon is correlated with the
degree of industrialization and intensity of chemical usage.

Abstract In many industrialized countries the use of land is impeded bysoil pollution
from a variety of sources. Decisions on clean-up, management or set-aside
ofcontaminated land are based on various considerations, including human health
risks, butecological arguments do not have a strong position in such assessments.
This paper analyses whythis should be so, and what ecotoxicology and theoretical
ecology can improve on thesituation. It seems that soil assessment suffers from a
fundamental weakness, which relatesto the absence of a commonly accepted
framework that may act as a reference. Soilcontamination can be assessed both
from a functional perspective and a structuralperspective. The relationship between
structure and function in ecosystems is a fundamentalquestion of ecology which
receives a lot of attention in recent literature, however, ageneral concept that may
guide ecotoxicological assessments has not yet arisen. On the experimentalside, a
good deal of progress has been made in the development and standardized useof
terrestrial model ecosystems (TME). In such systems, usually consisting of intactsoil
columns incubated in the laboratory under conditions allowing plant growth and
drainageof water, a compromise is sought between field relevance and
experimental manageability.A great variety of measurements can be made on such
systems, including microbiologicalprocesses and activities, but also activities of the
decomposer soil fauna.I propose that these TMEs can be useful instruments in
ecological soil quality assessments. Inaddition a ``bioinformatics approach'' to the
analysis of data obtained in TME experimentsis proposed. Soil function should be
considered as a multidimensional concept and thevarious measurements can be
considered as indicators, whose combined values define the``normal operating
range'' of the system. Deviations from the normal operating range indicatethat the
system is in a condition of stress. It is hoped that more work along this line
willimprove the prospects for ecological arguments in soil quality assessment.

Soil contamination is the occurrence of pollutants in soil above a certain level
causing a deterioration or loss of one or more soil functions. Also, Soil
Contamination can be considered as the presence of man-made chemicals or other
alteration in the natural soil environment. This type of contamination typically arises
from the rupture of underground storage tanks, application of pesticides,
percolation of contaminated surface water to subsurface strata, leaching of wastes
from landfills or direct discharge of industrial wastes to the soil. The most common
chemicals involved are petroleum hydrocarbons, solvents, pesticides, lead and
other heavy metals. The occurrence of this phenomenon is correlated with the
degree of industrialization and intensity of chemical usage.

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read the information below on the causes and effects of soil contamination towards the
environment.

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-direct discharge of industrial wastes to the soil
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-leaching of wastes from landfills
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-ruptureof the underground storage tanks
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-application of pesticides and fertilisers
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-affects brain and nervous system
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-surface ang ground water contamination
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