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Polluted soils

Soil contamination is caused by the presence of man-made chemicals or other alteration in the natural soil environment. This type of contamination typically arises from the rupture of underground storage tanks, application of pesticides, percolation of contaminated surface water to subsurface strata, oil and fuel dumping, leaching of wastes from landfills or direct discharge of industrial wastes to the soil. The most common chemicals involved are petroleum hydrocarbons, solvents, pesticides, lead and other heavy metals. This occurrence of this phenomenon is correlated with the degree of industrialization and intensity of chemical usage.

The concern over soil contamination stems primarily from health risks, both of direct contact and from secondary contamination of water supplies.

The cleanup of environmental pollution involves a variety of techniques, ranging from simple biological processes to advanced engineering technologies. Cleanup technologies may be specific to the contaminant (or contaminant class) and to the site.

There are several strategies for remediation. Lhoist is now working on actions to clean up soils that have been polluted, for example by hydrocarbons.

For more information, please contact Marc Pelletier: marc.pelletier@lhoist.com


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