SOIL CONTAMINATION ATTORNEYS
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IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE EXPERIENCED HEALTH COMPLICATIONS FROM SOIL CONTAMINATION, YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION.
LAWYER FOR SOIL CONTAMINATION
Soil is a complex mix of minerals, organic materials, water, and various living things. In its primordial state, the soil is the pristine material that covers the land.
But humans deliberately and accidentally spilled harmful products on it in certain areas.
By definition, any substance in the soil above natural levels that pose human health risks is a soil contaminant. As an early example, arsenic is naturally occurring in some soils. But if someone sprays some kind of pesticide in the backyard, it can lead to soil contamination.
Lead is also highly dangerous but is found naturally in some soils. It was used in petrol up to 1989 and is still found in polluting soils. The greatest risks of land pollution are found in urban areas and former industrial sites.
If you are unsure of the soil conditions around your house or property, it is best to get your soil tested to ensure it is safe. Of course, most soils are perfectly safe for playing, gardening, and recreational activities, but it is always best to be sure.
Pesticides, petroleum products, radon, asbestos, lead, copper arsenate, and creosote are typical pollutants In urban areas, soil pollution is caused primarily by human activities. Some examples are manufacturing, industrial waste, land development, landfilling of locally generated waste, and the overuse of pesticides or fertilizers. In addition, heavy vehicle and truck traffic contaminates the soil, as do individual automobiles–have you ever noticed the glistening pool beneath a vehicle in the driveway?.
That is oil — a product of petroleum –, and when it rains, that oil ends up in the soil! These substances could harm the local environment if they pollute the soil. Many of these chemicals are toxic to plants just as much as they are to people. Furthermore, because the soil is “the earth’s kidney,” contaminants can seep up through soils and reach our water supplies.
It is clear why soil contamination is a serious issue. Where and how much pollution is added to the soil will greatly influence how this pollution is distributed across the region. The soil type will also play a part in how it is distributed.
For instance, some contaminants can more readily reach groundwater sources in sandy compared to clayey soils. This is due to the faster penetration rates of sandy, coarse-grained soil types. In addition, fine-grained clay or organic materials in the top layer of the soil may contain contaminants more compactly, meaning contaminants accumulate when left undisturbed (i.e., without digging or tilling).
Some human activities can take place simultaneously. For instance, some new residential areas are being built over former industrial sites. These sites might have had contaminants in the ground buried, which were brought to the surface as homes — or roads supporting them — were built.
The newly-resurfaced contaminants can then redistribute through the urban environment through the wind (as dust) and water erosion. Contaminants can also remain on site, posing on-site risks for exposure if food is grown on the contaminated soil or children play on the soil. So how are people exposed to contaminants from the soil? There are several ways that humans may be exposed to soil contaminants. Although eating soil may sound strange, contaminants can be inhaled through several methods.
Young children can be especially vulnerable because they are playing with the soil out of the ground. Children can inhale dust particles which are naturally scattered as they play. They may also get curious and try to eat the dirt. If soil is uncontaminated, it does not pose any problems for children. However, you may want to get the soil in your backyard tested for lead and other substances to give you peace of mind.
Contaminated soil dust may even be impacting our food supply. For instance, contaminated soil can show up on food. If food like lettuce is grown on contaminated soil, its leaves may become covered.
Washing lettuce is a big deal. Root crops such as carrots and potatoes often come with their soil in the stores. If they come from contaminated soil, it is also important to wash them thoroughly.
The biggest risks for soil ingestion occur when soil is left exposed. Covering the soil with grasses or other plants, and covering it well, decreases the risk of contamination.
If people eat outside on a windy day in an area with high ground, contaminants from the air can hit the food before they are eaten. When soil is disturbed, fine particles may be carried by the wind or other disruptions. Construction or demolition activities, mining operations, or improper landscape efforts may cause soil dust. Breathing contaminated dust may result in physical or chemical harm to humans.
For instance, asbestos fibers may pierce the lungs. Chemicals like lead can damage the nervous system, including the brain. Additionally, contaminants might be taken
Creosote is a common material used in wood preservation in the U.S. This complex mix of chemicals can leach from treated wood and pollute the soil. If the soil contaminated with creosote is touched, it may cause the skin to blister, peel, or turn heavily red over time. Before doing serious work in a home or community garden, you want to ensure the soil is free from contamination. If you are growing food in contaminated soil, you run the risk that your food is contaminated as well.
Some residential developments and community gardens are established in areas where the land has served another purpose historically. For example, contaminants can exist if a location is an industrial/manufacturing site or a derelict building.
Contaminated soil can be “corrected,” but first your soil needs to be tested. For example, many vegetables and herbs may soak up contaminants when growing. This puts you at risk if you eat them. Also, vegetables and herbs may contain soil dust. Without washing it properly, the contaminants will stay.
Some garden beds can even be lined with chemically treated wood. If you are not building the garden beds, it is best to check your soil, as chemicals may leach into your garden soil. Finally, gardens or farms can sit on untouched soil next to sites that have been polluted.
In such cases, dust can blow off a contaminated site and pollute previously uncontaminated soil. In such cases, it is best to find out what the nearby land is used for. Industrial and manufacturing sites typically have several pollutants that pollute the soil. The types of contaminants will vary depending on what a plant produces. For example, contamination may happen if chemicals leach into the ground from buildings or trucks.
Other times, the plant might have an accumulation of waste or storage areas, which were once considered safe, but are now known to pose a pollution problem. Industrial sites may even be rather large. This makes complete soil remediation of the site a costly, difficult, yet essential undertaking. Landfills, dumps, and waste-disposal sites are at a higher risk for soil contamination than industrial sites. These areas typically have a greater mixture of contaminants such as lead, arsenic, and petroleum products.
All are hazardous to human safety in themselves. When combined, they can react with one another to produce more toxic compounds. Containing and cleaning up these areas is expensive, technically complex, and logistically difficult.
Vehicles are omnipresent throughout the urban landscape. We see thousands of cars and trucks spread out across freeway corridors, squeezed in parking lots, and packed into main thoroughfares carrying a high traffic volume.
Our vehicles take us from A to B; we are often highly dependent on them. While they can assist us with getting around, areas with a large concentration of vehicles present many risks for contamination, either through emissions or fluid spills.
For instance, lead may be higher in areas with heavy vehicular emissions, and spills of petroleum or oil from roads or parking lots could wash into the surrounding soil. Residential sites might not be an obvious location for soil contamination. But soil may become contaminated in the course of building homes.
Oil products spilled by construction vehicles. In addition, fibers from roofing products can fly off and disturb the soil’s life. These are only some examples of soil contamination caused by residential building work. In addition, homeowners can inadvertently pollute their soils as well.
Overuse of pesticides or herbicides is a major culprit. Sometimes, wood treated with chemicals is used for landscape applications. If used improperly, this may pollute soil and contaminate the plants and microbes that sustain it. In addition, excessive use of winter salts may damage the soil.
In the U.S., between 1910 and 1950, many pesticides were made with lead arsenate. Researchers and farmers did not know that lead caused health problems at that time. As a result, today, lead is found in soil on farms left behind. In addition, herbicides have been widely developed and produced since the 1950s.
These chemicals must be used correctly; incorrect use may damage the soil, plants, and human health. In addition, using heavy-loading applications of chemical fertilizers may contaminate the soil, depending on which crops are used and what types of fertilizer are used.
The Law May Limit The Time You Have To File a Soil Contamination Claim
Under the legal rule known as “the statute of limitations,” any claim stemming from soil contamination must be filed within a specific period of time, otherwise, the injured person’s legal claims are barred, and their right to bring suit is lost for all time.
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