EC Logo

Dirty footprints on the magic carpet – the impacts of soil pollution on human health

Point-source and industrial soil pollution is omnipresent in the EU, with 14% of an estimated total of 2.8 million potentially polluted sites expected to require remediation (= 390,000 sites). By 2018, only some 65,500 of these sites were remediated. Diffuse soil contamination by atmospheric deposition, pesticides, antibiotics, excess fertilisers, microplastics, sewage sludge and waste is also widespread. Both the Zero Pollution Action Plan for air, water and soil and the new Soil Strategy will address the problem of soil pollution. This session will focus on the impact of soil pollution on human health.


  • Matthias Braubach, Technical Officer Urban Health Equity, World Health Organisation (WHO)
  • Violette Geissen, Professor of soil degradation and conservation, Wageningen University 
  • Ivano Iavarone, Senior researcher, Department Environment and Health, Italian Institute for Health
  • Martin Hojsik, Member of the European Parliament


High level session
Session 5.1
Start Date
End Date
Main programme
Room 1