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Contaminated Land

What is Contaminated Land?

Land may be described as contaminated if there are substances in or under the land that are actually or potentially hazardous to health or the environment. Areas with a long history of industrial production are known as brownfield land. Many such sites may be affected by their former uses such as mining, industry, chemical and oil spills and waste disposal.

Contamination can also occur naturally as a result of the geology of the area, or through agricultural use.

Land can be contaminated by things like:

  • heavy metals, such as arsenic, cadmium and lead
  • oils and tars
  • chemical substances and preparations, like solvents
  • gases
  • asbestos