The Effects Of Soil Contamination On The Environment

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In the world we are living in today, with a growing population of approximately 7 billion, demands on fossil fuels are now greater than ever. Although innovative research on green energy sources have flourished during the past years, fossil fuels remain the dominant source of energy in the world. Methods of extraction and storage for crude oils can become detrimental to the environment if not properly handled. Starting from marine spills, to leakage of underground storage tanks, these anthropogenic activities intoxicate soil and water bodies impacting both terrestrial and aquatic life. However, through a natural process called bioremediation, microbes are able to degrade toxic pollutants and even result in the complete restoration of contaminated sites. This paper will focus mainly on bioremediation of oil-contaminated soils.
Soil contamination occurs when an excessive amount of a substance is present in the soil at higher than normal concentration without necessarily causing any direct harm (Vance, Pierzynski, & Sims, 1994). Soil contamination can lead to soil pollution, which is the evolution of soil contamination, causing some type of direct harm; thus a soil can be contaminated but not polluted (Vance et al., 1994). In most cases, oil contaminated soils have some type of direct or indirect negative consequences on the environment. Crude oils, when found in little to excessive amount, can destroy ecosystems and impact human health. A thorough description of
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