Fertilizer is an essential substance that enhances the production of crops when it is appropriately used or managed, it boosts the growth of plants.
When it is not adequately used or managed it causes a huge loss to plants and animals it also extends to humans which ends up hurting the environment. This has led us to discuss the effects of fertilizers on the environment.
Fertilizer varies is in different forms, like chemical products and old grass clippings. which supplies nutrients like nitrogen, and fertilizers are used to boost plant growth regardless of the threat of weeds and disease.
Organic fertilizers, such as manure, are a form of fertilizer that enhances the fertility of the soil by supplying nutrients to the microbes in the soil, ensuring the soil is well hydrated, and decreasing erosion
Grass clippings, disperse on the lawn, are a form of fertilizer that produces useful nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, and can be had for free by cutting down the lawn.
What is a Fertilizer?
A fertilizer is a substance that can be artificial or natural that consists of chemical elements like Potassium (K), Nitrogen (N), and Phosphorus (P) which are applied to the soil to enhance plant growth and productivity.
Fertilizers are used all across the globe to keep lawns green and to produce more crops in agricultural fields.
Meanwhile, Fertilizers can be divided into three categories which are as follows
1. Organic fertilizers
(manure and compost) this kind of fertilizer is produced from animal feces and decomposed matter of plants or animals.
2. Industrial fertilizers
(ammonium nitrate, ammonium phosphate, urea) these fertilizers are made by humans industrially via the reactions of chemical
3. Mineral fertilizers
(potash and phosphorus) are mined from the environment and crushed or treated chemically before they are used.
What Substance is Fertilizer made of?
Fertilizer is made up of Potassium (K), Nitrogen (N), and Phosphorus (P)
Effects of Fertilizers on the Environment
We will be looking at the effects of fertilizers on the environment
- Oxygen Diminution
- Decreases Soil quality
- Increase growth in weed and algae In the water body
- Human Health
- Climate Changes Across the Globe
- Promote Plant and animal growth
1. Oxygen Diminution
This is one of the negative effects of fertilizers on the environment. Most times when fertilizers that phosphate and nitrates substance is applied to the soil end up in the sea or ocean via rainfall making the environment harmful and microbe growth is spurred due to the nutrients that were produced from the fertilizer.
The rate at which oxygen is dissolved decreases in the ocean as a result of the blooming and procreation of microbes. which causes harm to aquatic species.
3. Increase growth in weed and algae In the water body
This is also one of the negative effects of fertilizers on the environment. The rate at which weeds and algae in a water body increase in number as a result of an excess provision of nutrients especially in the manure that contains N and P. N and P that is applied respectively as fertilizer to enhance the growth of algae, crops, and other aquatic plants. Nutrients need to be supplied in large quantities.
In this case, if the available nutrient is in a small quantity it will affect the growth and will lead to low production in the aquatic life and plant.
meanwhile, the increase in the number of algae and aquatic plants is dangerous to the water body. this leads to Eutrophication whereby the water body increases in aquatic plants and decreases in oxygen.
4. Human Health
Fertilizers that contain nitrogen and other chemical substance can contaminate streams, lakes, ponds, rivers, and water that is used for cooking, bathing, and drinking, which affects human health.
According to research, this causes a blue baby syndrome that occurs in infants when their skin tissues are very low in oxygen, which makes this skin to be a purplish and blue color.
research showed that the use of lawn fertilizers can lead to health challenges cancer and chronic disease mostly in children
5. Global Climate Changes
This is one of the negative effects of fertilizers on the environment. Fertilizers contain chemical substances such as nitrogen, methane, ammonia, and carbon dioxide.
These gases are emitted from facilities for the whole of the year but are released at the highest rates during the application which is furnished to the degree to which the greenhouse gases are available in the environment. which results in weather changes and global warming.
The byproduct of nitrogen is nitrous oxide which happens to be the third notable greenhouse gas. which is harmful this makes fertilizer to be very toxic to the environment.
These facts are alarming and serious step needs to be taken as soon as possible to avoid more severe consequences.
6. Promote Plant and animal growth
This is one of the positive effects of fertilizers on the environment. Fertilizers had made the production of food globally in large quantities for human consumption easily and faster by supplying crops and animals with nutrients when applied to the soil which makes them grow larger and faster.
Fertilizer contains a vital nutrient Nitrogen which is very crucial for all organism growth on this planet.
Nitrogen consists of approximately 78%of the air we breath is just around. Plants and animals can’t survive with the nitrogen gàs in the air because they don’t use it. Plants need nitrogen elements from the soil to grow. Fertilizers consist of nitrogen when applied to the soil making the plant grow faster.
There has been great concern about the use of nitrogen (N) fertilizers in the soil, which is contributing pollution of the atmosphere with nitrous oxide, ammonia other oxides of nitrogen, and also the environmental problems of nitrate pollution in waters which make the water very harmful to use.
Due to the chemical substance fertilizer is made up of and they end up polluting the atmosphere which leads to air pollution even the water body is been polluted by this chemical substance which causes water pollution. This is one of the most harmful effects of fertilizers on the environment.
Fertilizer is very essential as the improves the growth of plants and animals when applied in the soil. However, when it is applied too much it results in the release of greenhouse gases that are harmful into the atmosphere and causes eutrophication in the water body.
According to the report scientists are looking for solutions to minimize the harmful effects of fertilizers on our environment in such a way that it will not affect the quantity of food production when they are being used.
On our part have a role to play to solve this problem, we start by ensuring that we apply fertilizers on the soil moderately, not all the time.
We at least allow the soil to regain its nutrients organically by taking a break from crop production and if we can stop applying fertilizers during the rains.
Effects of Fertilizers on the Environment – FAQs
What are the positive effects of fertilizers on the environment
Fertilizer enhances the growth of plant and animal when it is properly applied to the soil. it makes plant Fertilizers protects from natural causes like blight
What are the harmful effects
Fertilizers that contain nitrogen and other chemical substance can contaminate streams, lakes, ponds, rivers and water that is used for cooking, bathing and drinking, which affects human health The chemical substance it contains are toxic to human health which causes cancer and several kind diseases
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Precious Okafor is a digital marketer and online entrepreneur that got into the online space in 2017 and since then have developed skills in content creation, copywriting and online marketing. He is also a Green activist and hence his role in publishing articles for EnvironmentGo