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Soil Pollution

India is an agriculture based economy so agriculture is given high priority here. Chemicals such as pesticides , insecticides, herbicides and fungicides are used on large scale for protection of food crops from damage. Also chemical fertilizers are used for improving crop yield. Apart from tis, polybags and other type of polymers are used for packaging and storage of food items. Most of the above mentioned things are non-biodegradable and after use when they are thrown out, remain as such for long time in our environment and cause land or soil pollution.

  • Causes of Soil Pollution

(1) Pesticides: Pesticides are substances that are used to stop the reproduction and growth of unwanted organisms. Synthetic pesticides are of concern to us, because of the possible effect upon human health through eating of food, or drinking water, contaminated with these chemicals. Pesticides are basically synthetic toxic chemicals with ecological repercussions. The repeated use of the same or similar pesticides give rise to pests that are resistant to that group of pesticides thus making the pesticides ineffective.  For example DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane).

(2) InsecticidesInsecticides are the pesticides used to control of insects.Control of insects by insecticides help to cure disease (for example malaria and yellow fever) and protect crop. Organochlorines are a group of compounds which have been developed and used as insecticides since 1950s. The best known organochlorine compound is DDT. Organochlorines are stable in the environment, toxic to insects in small amount, but much less to humans and because they are organic compounds, they are not very soluble in water. the advantage of these insecticides is that , being persistent they show their biological activity for long periods of time. On the negative side, these insecticides by accumulating in environment affect many non-target organisms in the environment affect many of these insecticides have been phased out of use. One can say that Insecticides are the pesticides used to Control of insects.

(3) Herbicides: Herbicides are used to kill weeds. Sodium chlorates, NaClO3 and sodium arsenite Na3AsO3 were commonly used as weed killers in the first half of the last century, but inorganic arsenic compounds in particular were toxic to mammals. Organic herbicides are, therefore now used. They are much more toxic to certain type of plants than to others. Organic herbicides such as trizines are presently widely used to kill weeds in cornfields.

(4) Fungicides: Fungicides are the pesticides used to check the growth of fungi. Fungi, are plants without chlorophyll, they cannot use solar energy for preparing their food. They live as saprophytes on decaying organic matter or as    parasites at the expense of living organisms. Hence they are considered to be a threat to human interests. Fungicides are important because they counter the growth of fungi. Organic compounds of mercury have been used as fungicides. These compounds break down in solid and this has disastrous consequences – many human deaths in Iraq (1971-72). In short




It is used to remove weeds as it is toxic to plants.

It can be both selective and general.


It is used to destroys or inhibits the growth of fungi to prevent infection of plant by fungi.


Preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest.

It is used against any pest including insects , plant pathogens , weeds, molluscs, microbes etc.


It is used in agriculture, household etc to kill pests

(5) Industrial waste:

Industrial solid wastes are also major cause of land pollution. These may be biodegradable or non-degradable wastes. Biodegradable wastes are generated by cotton mills, food processing units, paper mills, and textile factories while non-biodegradable wastes are generated by thermal power plants which produce fly ash; integrated iron and steel plants which produce blast furnace slag and steel melting slag. 

  • Green Chemistry

?Green chemistry of environmentally benign chemistry, introduced in 1990s, focus on processes and products that reduce or eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances. The release of different harmful chemicals (particulates, gases, organic and inorganic wastes) causes environmental pollution. In green chemistry, the reactants to be for industrial production of chemical substances are chosen in such a way that the yield of the end products is up to 100%. This almost prevents chemical pollutants from being introduced into the environment. Green chemistry seeks to reduce and prevent pollution at its source and can therefore it has a major role in decreasing environmental pollution.

Achievements of Green Chemistry:

Since the inception of green chemistry, chemists from all over the world are using this creative and innovative skill to develop new processes, synthetic methods, analytical tools reaction conditions, catalysts, etc. A lot of success has been achieved on this front. The process developed include among others:

  1. Development of a new method of synthesizing ibrufen in 99% yield, avoiding the uses of large quantities of solvent as wastes associated with the traditional method.

  2. Development of a method for catalytic dehydrogenation of diethanolamine in which a new technique allows the production of an environmental friendly herbicide in less dangerous way.

  3. Development of processes using carbon dioxide as the blowing agent, for manufacturing of polystyrene foam sheet packaging material.

  4. Designing of a safer marine antifouling compound “Sea-nine” that degraded far more rapidly that organotins which persist in marine environment and cause pollution problems.

Refer the below mentioned links to get an immediate solution to all questions on Organic Chemistry

JEE Organic Chemistry Syllabus

Environmental Chemistry Notes

Reference books of Organic Chemistry

To read more, Buy study materials of Environmental Chemistry comprising study notes, revision notes, video lectures, previous year solved questions etc. Also browse for more study materials on Chemistry here.

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