Percentage contribution to soil contamination from localised sources
Assessment made on 01 Jan 2001
ClassificationSoil (Primary theme)
Policy issue: What has caused soil pollution?
Although some information is available about the types of pollution found, no quantitative information is yet available about the scale and seriousness of contamination in the EEA member countries.
Across Europe, dangerous wastes have been dumped for decades without consideration of the long-term problems. The same story can be seen in commercial and industrial sites, where hazardous chemicals were regularly used, spilt, lost, and discarded. In most cases, it was simply because doing anything else was both too expensive and legally unnecessary.
Recent regulations and EU Directives, such as the EU?s Landfill Directives and Integrated Pollution and Prevention Control Directive, should reverse this trend, so soil remediation can focus on cleaning up the mistakes of the past. But how significant is the problem?
There is immense variation between regions and countries across Europe, reflecting the variation in industrial activity in each. Unfortunately, this variation is reflected in the classification and monitoring systems adopted by each Member State, making it difficult to compile an EU-wide perspective.
Download detailed information and factsheets
Soil polluting activities from localised sources
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe's environment.
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