The term “soil health” refers to the functionality of a soil as a living ecosystem capable of sustaining plants, animals, and humans while also improving the environment. In addition to soil health, the environment also comprises the quality of air, water, vegetation, and biota. The health of soil, plants, animals, people, and the environment is an indivisible continuum. One of the notable ramifications of the Anthropocene is the growing risks of decline in soil health by anthropogenic activities. Important among these activities are deforestation, biomass burning, excessive soil tillage, indiscriminate use of agrochemicals, excessive irrigation by flooding or inundation, and extractive farming practices. Soil pollution, by industrial effluents and urban waste adversely impacts human health. Degradation of soil health impacts nutritional quality of food, such as the uptake of heavy metals or deficit of essential micro-nutrients, and contamination by pests and pathogens. Indirectly, soil health may impact human health through contamination of water and pollution of air. This book aims to: Present relationships of soil health to human health and soil health to human nutrition. Discuss the nexus between soil degradation and malnourishment as well as the important links between soil, plant, animal and human health. Detail reasons oil is a cause of infectious diseases and source of remedial measures. Part of the Advances in Soil Sciences series, this informative volume covering various aspects of soil health appeals to soil scientists, environmental scientists and public health workers.
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