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Percentage contribution to soil contamination from localised sources

Indicator Fact Sheet (Deprecated)
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Assessment made on  01 Jan 2001

Generic metadata


Soil Soil (Primary theme)

DPSIR: Pressure


Indicator codes
Geographic coverage:

Policy issue:  What has caused soil pollution?

Key messages

  • 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.


Key assessment

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.

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European Environment Agency (EEA)
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