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Soil is made up of various components such as from the abrasion of rocks, from dead and decaying organic matter known as humus, manure made from composts and vermi-composts. Different types of soil can be classified based on the type of soil and quality of soil. The type of soil is based on average size of particles and quality of soil is based on amount of humus and the interaction of soil with micro-organisms present in it. The minerals present in the soil are obtained from the rocks that were broken down into fine particles. Thus diversity in rocks, soil quality and humus decide the diversity of plants and animals in that area. Top soil is defined as the soil particles obtained from breaking down of rocks along with top layer of humus. This top soil is known to decide the plants that will grow and develop in a particular given area of land.
The process of downgrading the quality of soil, to an extent in which plants and micro-organisms cannot survive, is defined as soil pollution. Soil pollution is commonly caused by usage of chemical-rich fertilizers. Minerals present in the soil can also be eroded or washed away by floods and other natural calamities. Hence it is necessary to preserve the nutrients of the soil, as it takes several years to form soil from the rocks.
Water is polluted in several ways.
1. Water dissolves the chemicals from the industries and fertilizers from the agricultural lands, thus making it difficult to re-use the water
2. Sewage from urban cities and towns are dumped in rivers and lakes
3. Certain industries exchange their heated water with the cool water from the water bodies, thus increasing the temperature of the water bodies and hampering with the normal temperature to maintain the growth and development of underwater life.
4. Addition of undesirable physical and chemical substances in the water bodies, thus hampering with the dissolved oxygen which supports the life in water bodies.
Burning of fossil fuels is a common cause of air pollution worldwide. Fossil fuels like coal and petroleum on burning result in release of small amounts of nitrogen and sulphur and suspended particles in the air. Inhalation of these gases is hazardous to health. The toxic gases mix with rain fall to produce acid rain, which damages the soil and plants growing on it. The suspended particles lower the visibility and cause the water to condense out of air during winter seasons. This phenomenon is called as smog. Regular breathing of polluted air results in increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer.