Soil-polluting activities from localised sources

Indicator Fact Sheet (Deprecated)
Prod-ID: IND-10-en
Also known as:
Note: new version is available!

Assessment made on  01 Nov 2002

Generic metadata



DPSIR: Driving force


Indicator codes

Policy issue:  What has caused soil pollution?

Key messages

  • Across Europe, several activities causing soil pollution can be clearly identified. These are related in particular to waste disposal from municipal and industrial sources and losses during industrial activities. However, the range of polluting activities varies considerably in each country. These variations may show different classification systems or incomplete information available.


Key assessment

In the future, implementation of the legislative and regulatory frameworks in place (landfill directive, integrated pollution prevention and control directive, water framework directive) should result in fewer inputs of contaminants into soil that might give rise to severe contamination and in a better control of contamination caused by natural or other events. As a consequence, most of the efforts will be focused on historical contamination.

Local soil contamination is mainly due to municipal and industrial waste disposals, losses during industrial activities and accidents in most of the countries analysed.

Numerous activities have been dated in the past ? however current activities still cause significant impacts to soil.

No information is provided concerning relevant pollutants. However, a broad range of industrial and commercial branches release(d) impacts into soil covering a broad variety of different pollutants. Changes in the scope of soil-polluting activities reflect remedial measures to manage historic contamination on the one hand and pollution prevention measures at active facilities on the other.

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European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Phone: +45 3336 7100