Fertilizers are the industrial products which are inorganic in nature and can supply plant nutrients in available form. There is an increased use of fertilizers along with the changes in the irrigation practices and with the introduction of various crop varieties as well. Apart from the fertilizer and pesticide shops which are available at various places, currently various dealers and manufacturers can sell their products like fertilizers through online platforms like application provided by the company called ANANTH AGRI SERVICES LLP, where they can sell the fertilizers more quickly and effectively. Fertilizers can provide plant nutrients in high quantity and the plants also give good response to the applied fertilizers. The usage of fertilizers may give good results for a short term but long-term usage of fertilizers can show deteriorating effects on the soil as well as the environment. Several problems which are associated with the over usage of fertilizers to the environment have been recognized which includes:
Impact of fertilizers on soil
Fertilizers containing nitrogen are the major cause for polluting the soil, nitrates present in those fertilizers can be lost through leaching or by the denitrification. Nitrates which are lost beyond the root zone through leaching may cause pollution for surface and groundwater bodies. Nitrates which are produced through the denitrification reaction can cause greenhouse effect and may also damage the ozone layer. Nitrate toxicity can be seen in the living beings by the consumption of vegetables and fodders which absorbs nitrates in higher amounts. One more fact is that application of phosphatic fertilizers can also add heavy metals like cadmium to the soil and thus contaminate the soil.
Impact on Human health
Nitrogen and its compounds present in the fertilizers can contaminate the groundwater and drinking water. The main cause of methemoglobinemia or blue baby syndrome which is seen in the infants is due to the consumption of water containing nitrates. Formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines in the stomach of humans which finally leads to cancer occurs due to the excessive nitrate intake.
Eutrophication is the process of enrichment of waterbodies by inorganic plant nutrients which stimulate the excessive growth of algae and planktons on the surface of water bodies thus reducing the oxygen intake by the aquatic plants and animals. The nitrogen and phosphatic fertilizers which are susceptible to leaching enters into the surface water from the agricultural lands through the streams and thus stimulates the production of algae and planktons on the surface of water thus causes various negative effects like rendering recreational activities, fishing and various other activities. Causes of eutrophication includes runoff of nutrients from the soil, weathering of rocks, accelerated runoff of fertilizers and manures from the agricultural lands etc.