What is Soil Contamination?
Soil contamination has become a major problem because of the large amounts of man made pollutants and chemicals that have been put into the environment. The ways that soil contamination occurs varies. However regardless of how the soil contamination happens pollution of the environment is a serious problem not only for the environment but also for people because the presence of soil contamination endangers’ individual health. Individual health can be damaged because of touching the soil, because of breathing the air in the area where the soil is, or because of the ground water being contaminated as a direct result of the soil contamination.
Companies dumping pollutants is not the only way that soil contamination occurs. There are also cases where things happen such as underground tanks rupturing. At any rate the contamination might involve pesticides, hydrocarbons, metals, industrial solvents, oil dumping, or wastes from landfills. This is not an exhaustive list but it is an example of the pollutants that contaminate the environment.
The following are specific examples of the potential harm that soil contamination can cause. For example chlorine solvents can cause kidney damage, liver damage, and central nervous system damage. Some pesticides are known to cause cancer. Benzene in sufficient amounts is reportedly associated with the occurence of leukemia. Lead is reportedly dangerous for children and can cause damage to the brain and kidneys. In fact some chemicals that cause soil contamination can even cause a person to die.
Before the 1970’s there was comparatively less awareness of the potential problems that soil contamination could cause. However since that time in the United States there have been efforts to clean up the soil. In fact Superfund implemented rules which indicated that there would be legal liability for soil contamination. Thousands of sites were identified as needing to be cleaned up. And reportedly at this time it is estimated that there are still many thousands of sites where soil clean up is needed.
But despite the fact that there are many sites that need cleaning companies do not always cooperate with these clean up efforts. When companies dump pollutants and when this sort of thing results in soil contamination often the companies involved are aware that they are causing environmental problems. But they go ahead and dump pollutants into the environment anyway because it is easier to do that and retain more profit than it is to take extra steps to help prevent soil contamination.
Sadly when soil contamination happens in some cases people may start to suffer consequences before they even realize what is happening. For example if the groundwater is contaminated that can impact food and drinking water and so people could be potentially ingesting toxins for years and they might not know it. Some individuals do realize that their illness symptoms are associated with soil contamination and they seek help. However some individuals suffer quietly for years before seeking legal help and medical help for their symptoms.
In some cases it may be difficult to know if you’re suffering from soil contamination, but if you suspect that you or a family member has developed a health problem as a result of soil contamination or if you or a family member has had any other kind of problem associated with soil contamination, please contact our law firm for a free soil contamination case evaluation.