The Harmful Effects of Fertilizers on the Environment


Fertilizers are indeed essential for the healthy growth of plants but are they really harmful for the environment. Well, fertilizers these days contain all sorts of chemicals which boost the healthy and fast growth of plants and also promote growth of high quality flowers and fruits but further to this, these fertilizers are not really environment friendly. They are used in order to produce food for the increasing population of the world, but usage of the popular synthetic fertilizers affects the environment adversely. Hence, organic and natural fertilizers made from compost and manure should be used in order to balance the environment. Read below and know how fertilizers affect the environment:


  • Affects the Quality of Soil: Regular and repeated use of fertilizers on the same soil gradually alters the fertility of the soil, making it totally infertile and barren after some years. A soil test should be done every 3 to 4 years in order to avoid this and the farmers should switch to organic fertilizers.
  • Affects the Water Bodies: Excessive use of fertilizers causes eutrophication. This is when the harmful chemicals of the fertilizers are taken to the lakes and oceans due to rains as well as sewage. These chemical components decrease the oxygen level of the water and affect the aquatic flora and fauna. It causes deaths of fish and other plants in the water. Due to this polluted water being consumed by animals or even humans for drinking, it can cause harmful diseases. It is said that over 50% water bodies all over the world are already polluted due to this.
  • Causes Climate Change Across the Globe: Fertilizers mostly contain harmful chemicals like methane, ammonia, nitrogen and Carbon dioxide, which contributes to the increase in greenhouse gases, which is a main component in causing global warming, leading to the depletion of ozone layer.
  • The fertilizers which are used on plants affect the quality of land on which it is used, further causing erosion of soil.
  • The fertilizers used on plants contain harmful chemical fumes which affect the environment. They are mixed with the air and the birds and animals which breathe it are affected and prone to illnesses.
  • The fertilizers used on plants boost their growth, but the quality of produce which is yield is not very healthy as compared to the quality of produce which can be yield with natural fertilizers. Hence, it can be said that it increases the quantity of food produced but decreases the quality of food produced.
  • The plants which are given fertilizers do not live for too long compared to the plants which grow naturally. Hence, if big plantations are being grown with fertilizers, they are going to survive for lesser time compared to the naturally grown ones. Also, the soil will be filled with harmful chemicals, which will cause the harmful elements to mix with the ground water, thus polluting the water even before it is extracted from the ground for usage.


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