Question-1: Discuss threats associated with pollution of soil. How Phytoremediation using plants could be used to remove heavy metal pollutants from soil?
Answer: Soil pollution is one of the major challenges for the world as it is closely associated with health and food security. Scientific community has been involved in finding methods to clear soil pollution naturally as well as artificially.
Threats of soil pollution
- Enter food chain
Heavy metal pollutants can be absorbed by food crops and later enter food chain. They get accumulated in humans and cause all sorts of health problems.
- Affect water security
Heavy metal can percolate deep underground and mix in underground water. People will not be able to use water for their needs.
Phytoremediation is a bioremediation process that uses various types of plants and microbes to remove, transfer, stabilize, and/or destroy contaminants in the soil.
Using plant phytoremediation to clean heavy metal pollutants
- The method of using plant involves identifying the variety that can be easily grown in the area and also does not affect endemic species.
- Once the plants are planted, a certain time has to pass before they can be harvested. The toxic metals get stored in the plant tissue.
Benefits of phytoremediation
- Cost effective
The process is relatively cheap compared to artificial methods. No separate care has to be given to the plants and they survive on their own.
- Organic activity
The plants not only remove toxins, but also add organic compounds and microbes that increases the fertility of soil.
Thus, phytoremediation can help clear soil of heavy metal pollutants and ensure that health and food security is preserved.
Tags: GS 3 ( Environment)