The use of fertilizers has helped mankind yield massive crop production to meet the food supply of the growing population. However, in order to do so, we have disregarded the adversity that lies ahead in its worst form.
Fertilizers have become an indispensable part in agriculture and farming. These substances, both synthetic and organic, are added to the soil in order to increase the supply of essential nutrients that boost the growth of plants and vegetation. With the rapid increase in global population, the demand of food has also been rising tremendously. Statistics show that almost 40 to 60 percent of agricultural crops are grown with the use of different types of fertilizers. Not only this, more than 50 percent of the population feeds on crops that are grown as a result of using synthetic fertilizers.
With the food supply being met, and our private lawns looking as lush and green as possible, we tend to neglect the long-term detrimental effects of using fertilizers so lavishly. Agreed, some steps have been taken by authorities to minimize their ill effects, and people are being encouraged to use organic fertilizers instead of the synthetic ones. Organic fertilizers are invariably a better option, however, they are not the ultimate solution. According to the National Geographic website, "Organic fertilizers also contain nitrogen and phosphorus that can wash off into waterways. And just like conventional fertilizers fortified with synthetic ammonia, manure and guano (bird droppings) both have high levels of naturally occurring ammonia that can 'burn' plants."
Impact on human health
As mentioned earlier, the presence of nitrogen and other chemicals in fertilizers can also affect the groundwater and contaminate the water source of domestic usage! One of the most common result of drinking this polluted water is the development of Blue Baby Syndrome. As the name suggests, this syndrome affects infants and decreases the level of oxygen in their blood, causing their skin color to change to blue-green. This condition can also lead to coma, and even death.
Other health hazards linked with the contact or consumption of fertilizer-infected air, water, or food include goiter, hypertension, respiratory ailments, heart disease, etc. Interestingly, nitrogen contamination from fertilizers has also been established as a crucial trigger for certain cancers, such as, gastric cancer, testicular cancer, and stomach cancer.
The use of fertilizers for agricultural growth and cultivation is keeping our stomach filled for now, but then, if things keep progressing in the same manner, it won't be long when all will be lost―food, water, and health. The irony of it all is that as harmful the use of fertilizers is, we have come to a point where we cannot afford to not use them at all. This is because the lack of these would not only lead to less crop production, but also lead to soil erosion due to lesser plant growth. The only option we have is to use organic fertilizers in moderation, and take necessary steps to allow the soil to replenish its lost nutrients naturally.
With the current situation, it becomes indispensable to address the need of the hour, and take every rightful step to control the damage done so far. The more we educate ourselves in this subject and analyze our options, the more beneficial it would be to our environment. For now, let's begin with some small and simple steps such as, not using fertilizers lavishly, not using them during the rainy season, and avoiding excessive irrigation. Reversing the damage done would take decades, but the least we can do is to start the healing process―now!
However, not being a farmer, we can not completely control the actions done by farmers, we only can try to protect ourselves from these harmful and destroying food. We can use modern technology to detect harmful substances in our daily food. Definetly, going to the laboratory is a 100% proof choice, but it is very expensive and time consuming. For a modern person the life of technology created express laboratory testing technology – Greentest food portable express tester with an accuracy which is certified and used in 97 countries of the world.
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Information sources: HelpSaveNature https://helpsavenature.com/how-do-fertilizers-affect-environment