Problems of existing chemical fertilizers

Problems of existing chemical fertilizers
Chemical fertilizer is an inorganic material of synthetic origin that is added to soil to sustain plants' growth. Several chemical fertilizers have high acid content in them (e.g. sulphuric acid and hydrochloric acid), which causes destruction of nitrogen-fixing bacteria and helps in supplying nitrogen to a growing plant. This acid content has the ability to burn the skin and changes soil fertility. Over usage affects the crops' productivity and leads to ground water contamination. These fertilizers do not just affect the crops on which they are applied but drain off into the soil and nearby water ways thereby affecting the aquatic life. The leaching nitrates from the soil contaminate the drinking water if located near the wells. High nitrate level in drinking water is dangerous to human health and leads to gastric problems in adults. Usage of chemical fertilizers leads to birth defects, reproduction problems, liver damage, kidney damage, blue baby syndrome, reduced immune response, etc. Some chemical fertilizers have been found to contain dioxins (the most dangerous chemicals) which affect the environment and heavy metals, such as lead, cadmium and mercury. Over application of nitrogen fertilizer can burn the plants causing whilting and delayed flowering stage. In other point of view, the better quality plants obtained as a result of chemical fertilizers attract insects, which may lead to increased usage of pesticides in turn causing serious problems. The field applications of chemical fertilizers are also problematic, as they can harm the farmers by their incorrect and careless usage. The chemical fertilizers can also harm pets, children and animals as they do not decompose easily.

Though chemical fertilizers contribute for more advantages in agricultural practices, they have a series of complications accompanying them. It is always a demand from the environmentalists to minimise the chemical fertilizers' usage and increase the usage of bio-alternates for a better world.
How to cite this article:
Mythily B. Problems of existing chemical fertilizers. BioLim O-Media. 20 , 3-07. 2(3).
Available from: http://archive.biolim.org/omedia/read/BOMA0054.