Monitoring soil quality
Soil pollution studies in Slovenia conducted by the Environmental Agency of the Republic of Slovenia since 2008 show that soil in Slovenia is largely unpolluted; only individual areas contaminated with certain inorganic substances (e.g. cadmium, lead, arsenic, copper) and organic pollutants (e.g. plant protection products). Soil is heavily loaded with pollutants in the Mežica Valley, the Celje Basin, and the towns of Jesenice and Idrija, with cadmium and lead being the most problematic for human health and the environment. The pollution of soil with organic pollutants is a less pressing issue in Slovenia.
In the Mežica Valley, measures have been in place since 2008 to remedy the problem of soil pollution, including the asphalting of gravel roads, replacing polluted soil, resurfacing with unpolluted soil and planting grass. The effectiveness of remedial measures is verified by systematic monitoring or the monitoring of soil contamination of rehabilitated areas and indirectly or partially by determining the lead content in the blood of children (biomonitoring). Biomonitoring of lead levels in children's blood shows that approximately 20 % of children had elevated levels of lead in their blood before the implementation of remedial measures, it is before 2008. In recent years, this has applied to about 10 % of children, and the percentage of children with low blood lead levels has risen.
In Slovenia, a new soil protection system is being established, within which activities are also underway to establish soil quality monitoring. Data on the state of soil pollution obtained within soil pollution studies will serve as a basis for determining soil quality monitoring in Slovenia.
In the future, a comprehensive review of soil conditions will need to take into account, in addition to pollution, other pressures to which the soil is exposed, in particular the reduction of soil organic matter and soil biodiversity, the reduction of soil loss due to waterproofing and erosion loss.