Indian Network For Soil Contamination Research
Indian Network For Soil Contamination Research

Welcome to Indian Network for Soil Contamination Research

This is an India based scientific network of researchers having interest in environmental aspects in soil environment.

Soil contamination refers to the presence of unwanted man-made materials of chemical nature and wastes in the soil environments that are toxic and often injurious to human health and other life forms in the long run. Such contamination typically arises from the application of chemical pesticides on crops and seeds, accidents in chemical plants, rupture of underground storage tanks, percolation of contaminated surface water to subsurface strata, leaching of wastes from landfills or direct discharge of industrial wastes to the soil.

The most common contaminants involved are pesticides, heavy metals resulting from effluents from electro-chemical and other process industries and lead, petroleum hydrocarbons from refineries and industrial solvents.

The occurrence of soil contamination is directly related to anthropogenic activities and can be regarded as inevitable with the increasing 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 and technological capability to deal with the prevention and mapping of contaminated sites. Their clean up require a body of knowledge in multi-disciplinary areas of geology, hydrology, agriculture, chemistry, toxicology, pharmacology, computer modelling along with sanitation and civil engineering.

Global Trends in Soil Contamination Research

Research reports and publications emanating from various researchers across the globe confirm the following distinct area of interest:

  • Use of eco-toxicity data in evaluation of soil contamination
  • Different in-situ and ex-situ approaches to restore the eco-systems affected by soil pollution
  • Long term impact of heavy metals and other contaminants in soil on human health, geno-toxicity and bacterial communities in soil
  • Bio-remediation (including phytoremediation) approaches for decontamination of soil
  • Studies of self-attenuation and self-purification processes in restoration of the health of soil
  • Determination of base-line data on contaminants in soil across regions
  • Role of the presence of materials like ‘back carbon’ and/or ‘activated carbon’ in soil towards absorption and detoxification of organic contaminants.

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About Us

Established in early 1999, in the wake of organising an international conference, on the subject of environmental pollution, conference was organised at Hotel Radison in New Delhi, during December 1999. The network brought together several key researchers working on different aspects of contamination in soil environment spread across various academy, agricultural and industrial research institutions.

The December 1999 conference was a huge success attracting as many as 200 renowned scientists from various countries, i.e., Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, Sweden, UK, U.S.A and elsewhere.

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  • To make a significant contribution for reducing the environmental problems associated with contaminants in soil, ground and surface water and food in India by research and their application by the scientists in the country.
  • The activities of this network will assist individuals and institutions in sharing their experiences that will further help in reducing contaminant problems. This will be made possible by carrying out high quality research and ensuring that the results are presented to regional, national and international decision makers for effective development. Also, implementation of these appropriate environmental, industrial, health, agricultural, economic and social policies and strategies will help in reducing environmental contaminants.
  1. To assess the skills and techniques available in the country for determining the composition, quantities, sources and fate of contaminants entering soils and waters for their remediation.
  2. To identify and quantify the process determining the movement and pathways of contaminants entering soil, plants, water and air in the region.
  3. To assess the types and amounts of contaminants in food in the region resulting from plant growth on contaminated land, and to identify the sources of such contaminants.
  4. To contribute in the investigations of the ecological effects and the human and animal health impacts of contaminated land and water including the consumption of food produced on contaminated land.
  5. To contribute in the study of effects of soil and water contamination on engineering structures buildings and their interiors.
  6. To investigate and recommend appropriate regional remediation measures and technologies for contaminated soil and water supply.
  7. To advice governments and other on the results and the likely implications of the completed research and to assist them in the development of remedial measures to address the identified problems.
  8. To work with regional governments on the development of short and long term measures to reduce the contamination of soil and water resources and the potential impacts on food supplies and exportable commodities.
  9. To assist government in the region for the development of policies and strategies for reducing the social, economic and health impacts of contaminated soil and water.