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Running head: CHEMICAL FERTILIZERS: A CONTRIBUTING FACTOR IN
CHEMICAL FERTILIZERS: A CONTRIBUTING ...
Running head: CHEMICAL FERTILIZERS: A CONTRIBUTING FACTOR IN
CHEMICAL FERTILIZERS: A CONTRIBUTING FACTOR IN AGRICULTURAL
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1 CHEMICAL FERTILIZERS: A CONTRIBUTING FACTOR IN AGRICULTURAL
Introduction: ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 2
Literature Review: ................................ ................................ ................................ .......................... 3
Effects of chemical fertilizers on water pollution: ................................ ................................ ...... 3
Effects of chemical fertilizers on air pollution: ................................ ................................ .......... 4
Effects of chemical fertilizers on soil pollution: ................................ ................................ ......... 6
Conclusion: ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 7
References: ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 9
2 CHEMICAL FERTILIZERS: A CONTRIBUTING FACTOR IN AGRICULTURAL
The fertilizers play a significant role in the agricultural activities as it increases the
effectiveness as well as attains a better quality of products. The fertilizers which are non - organic
mainly contains nitrate, phosphate, potassium salts and ammonium (Savci 2012) . The industry of
fertilizers is considered as the source of radionuclides as well as heavy metals which act as a
potential source . In addition to this, it even contains heavy metals in a large majority such as Cd,
Hg, Pb, Ni, Cu and As; some radio nuclide such as Th, Po and U (Tayefeh et al. 2018) . The
fertilizers are important for the crops in the same way as a human body needs nutrients and
minerals in order to be healthy and strong. The fertilizers substitute the nutrients that are
removed by crops from the soil (Zhai et al. 2017) . Without adding fertilizers, the yield of crop
and agricultural productivity will be compact . This is the main reason of why fertilizers are used;
the supplement the soil’s nutrients with the help of minerals which is quickly absorbed by the
crops (Savci 2012) .
Savci (20 12) has stated that i n the recent times, the use of fertilizers has been increased
tremendously in all across the world which has even caused several environmental issues .
Fer tilization affects the gathering of heavy metals in the soil and plat system. Pla nts absorbs the
fertilizers over soil and therefore they arrive into the food chain. Hence, the fertilization leads to
water as well as air pollution (Shuqin and Fang 2018) . Agricultural pollution is referred as the
biotic and abiotic byproducts of practices in farming that leads to degradation or contamination
of environment as well as the surrounding ecosystems and they even cause damage to the
humans and their economic interests. The main purpose of this research is to converse in details
the cont ribution of chemical fertilizers in the agricultural pollution.
3 CHEMICAL FERTILIZERS: A CONTRIBUTING FACTOR IN AGRICULTURAL
Effects of chemical fertilizers on water pollution:
In today’s world, the people are aware of the harmful chemicals that effects the
environment. These harmful chemicals are the nitrogenous fertilizers that is used in agriculture
and it reaches the water environment through several ways like leaching, drainage and fl ow.
Wu and Ge (2019) have stated that Nitrate leaching is mainly related to the agricultural
practices like cultivation and fertilizing . In some of the dry and semiarid areas , the irrigated
agricultural land has an increased amount of nitrate accumulation within the soil which is also
present in the evaporation of water. According to these situations, the nitrat e accumulate leach in
various amounts as it spreads to the soil’s depth. The fertilizers are converted to nitrate through
nitrification by the microorganisms within the soil (Cassou, Jaffee and Ru 2018) . A negatively
charged nitrate can even reach to the groundwater. Chemical fertilizers consist of nitrates.,
phosphates which is one of the main reasons behind water pollution. Through snowfall, rainfall
and irrigation the fertilizers reach to the waterbodi es. In addition to this, a high absorption of
nitrogen pollutes the water that people drink. In the year 2015, it was reported that around 61%
of the groundwater and around 28% of the river bodies in China were found to be unfit for the
contact of humans . In addition to this, around 30% of the major reservoirs and lakes fail to meet
the bathing or drinking water standards (Delang 2017) . In the year 2000, the sources of
agriculture became the initial polluter of the Miyun reservoir which i s the most vital so urce of
drinking water in Beijing, after the implementation of industrial pollution control . Cassou, Jaffee
and Ru (2018) argues that the livestock farms are detracting the drinking water on a serious note
in Vietnam to Ho Chi Minh City and this issue is s everely affecting Manila and Hanoi as well.
Additionally, the pesticides that are used in the rice fields as well as on the other crops have led
4 CHEMICAL FERTILIZERS: A CONTRIBUTING FACTOR IN AGRICULTURAL
to a state of compromise in the safety of groundwater that are removed from wells or from other
sources of drinking in Vietnam (Mahanty et al. 2017) .
The fertilizers are considered as the food for plants as it contains the compounds of
phosphorous and nitrogen (Solanki et al. 2015) . It is mainly owned by the homeowners who aim
at maintaining as well as improving the landscape’s quality and beauty. But as the amounts have
increased it has caused several ill effects . The excessive nutrients that are occurred from the
fertilizers is involved in algae bloom and it makes the wate r transport’s channel impossible.
When the algae die , it sinks to the bottom of water bodies and makes it difficult for the aquatic
animals to live (Evans et al. 2019) . In addition to this, when the fertilizers run down to the water
bodies, it is swallowed by the fishes and it becomes diseased. It is even harmful for the human to
consume the crops that are formed as a result of irrigation from th e diseased waterbodies.
Effects of chemical fertilizers on air pollution:
In the East Asia, the growth of agriculture has significantly contributed to a huge
reduction in poverty in the recent decades. There has been a success in this sector with higher
agricultural exports as well as an improvement in the food security which has helped in the
human and econom ic development. But all these factors have come with a high price in China,
Vietnam and Philippines . Agricultural activities have bee n the main source of greenhouse gas
emission and it has also contributed in the degradation of environment (Giang et al. 20 15) . An
inappropriate management of agricultural waste has contributed to the local and regional air
pollution. There has been open burning of the crop residues in several parts of east Asia. The
wheat residues are burned in order to save the cost of labou r (Suhag 2016) . The harshness of air
pollution in the country of china is well known in addition to the effects on the problem of
disease. For instance: around 78% of the observed towns have been unsuccessful to meet the air
5 CHEMICAL FERTILIZERS: A CONTRIBUTING FACTOR IN AGRICULTURAL
quality standards in the year 2015. The contribution of agricultural activities in this problem is
still not measured but production of livestock, open burning of the crop residues as well as
agrochemicals have been originated . It has bee n recently seen that the ammonia releases from the
sources of agriculture - which are the major source of ammonia emissions have been detracting
the quality of air in the cities of China (Yin et al. 2018) . In addition to this, the open burning of
the agricu ltural residues has also been increased in several cities with a rise of bad odor from the
livestock farms in local communities have been reported.
Agricultural air pollution mainly comes from ammonia that enters into the air as a form
of gas from the liv estock waste and a heavily fertilized field . The air blows into the cities and
reacts with emission such as Sulphur and nitrogen from the industries and traffic. This
combination of gas from the intensive agriculture, industry and traffic are quite typical and
mostly found in the populated parts of Europe, Asia and North America (Wang et al. 2018) . The
researchers have used several global models in order to examine the origin of fine particulate
matter across different regions in the world. Researchers have divided the source of emission
into three different categories namely anthropogenic non - agricultural, natural and agricultural.
The agricultural emissions were defined as the changes that have been occurred if all the
activities of agricu lture were turned off and on. In Europe, the emission precursors from
livestock and fertilizers were responsible for approximately 55% of the anthropogenic . In the
United States, the emissions of agriculture represented over half of the emissions that were
caused by the humans (Zhang et al. 2019) . In addition to this, China shows the highest level of
agriculture emissions that cause pollution.
6 CHEMICAL FERTILIZERS: A CONTRIBUTING FACTOR IN AGRICULTURAL
Effects of chemical fertilizers on soil pollution:
According to all the explores and study made, it has been obse rved that the chemical
fertilizers on soil is not instantly noticeable (Sharma and Singhvi 2017) . This is because the soils
have a very strong defending power for their mechanisms . Over the years, it has been stated that
the worsening in soil fertility, reaction of soil degradation has led to worsening of the balance
between the current elements. Additionally, the toxic substances gather within the vegetables and
cause a negative effect to the animals or humans who consume it. A high level of fertilizers
containing potassium and sodium make a very adverse impact on the soil . Many consumers from
East Asia are worried about the beverages and foods they consume (Savci 2012) . The major
cause for this worry is that, some of agricultural pollutants find their wa y into the food. Another
cause is that, the practices of farming have instigated the soil which has made it acidic. There has
been an upsurge in this situation due to the use of heavy metal pollutants within the food crops
which has created a human health risk and has even led to a rejection of these crops by the
marketplace (Smith and Siciliano 2015) . As there has been a concern for food safety among the
people, it has been observed that the contamination of soil of China with heavy metals, pesticides
as well as other chemical compound is of the biggest problems of pollution that the country is
facing. In addition to thi s, another developing fear is the overuse and inappropriate disposal of
plastics used in agriculture just after a single growing season. The use and dumping of plastic
within the country of China are linked with several concerns that include food safety, s oil
fertility as well as wildlife protection.
Fertilizers are very useful for the farmers as it provides nutrients to the crop so that they
can grow well (Sun et al. 2012) . But they have a lot of disadvantages as they cause pollution and
affect the enviro nment. The health of humans is also at risk as the agricultural ammonia
7 CHEMICAL FERTILIZERS: A CONTRIBUTING FACTOR IN AGRICULTURAL
emissions can combine with the pollution from traffic or industry and creates a dangerous
particulate which mixes in the air and causes respiratory disease including corona virus. Ther e
has been one study that has estimated that air pollution might increase the rate of mortality
associated with COVID - 19 by approximately 15%. After researching , it can be said that there
are no areas of disagreements or controversy (Chen et al. 2017) . In addition to this, there was a
little issue with the methodology related to the data collection. During the time of ongoing
pandemic, the data was collected through mobile methods as the people are not comfortable to
meet in person and due to the govern ment restrictions, there has been a complete lockdown in
several places. Additionally, the authors have also made important assumptions which are all
related to environmental pollution that are caused by agricultural fertilizers . However, the gap in
this r esearch was that, the authors did not mention about how severely it could affect the human
as well as animals in the future. If this would have mentioned in details then, the readers would
have become more sincere and would have taken necessary steps.
Nowadays , the use of fertilizers has become an important technology in agricultural
practices since the soil restores nutrients. The agricultural pollution has reached to an alarming
proportion in several parts of East Asia. As there has been an increase in the farm
industrialization and concentration , the agricultural pollution can grow for several years in the
future. The use of chemical fertilizers in the farms have led to air, water and soil pollution which
has caused a severe issue in Chin a, Vietnam and Phil ippines. The agricultural growth has
undoubtedly contributed in the reduction of poverty and helped the people with human as well as
economic development. But it can be said that all these accomplishments have come at a higher
price as it has led to pollution . Tackling the agricultural pollutants is not an easy task but in order
8 CHEMICAL FERTILIZERS: A CONTRIBUTING FACTOR IN AGRICULTURAL
to save the environment it is very important to take necessary steps. The government is taking
measures but they are helpless as the problems is continuously increasing. The problems related
to agricultural pollution can be reduced if the government act on both the structural as well as
technical opportunities. For this, a huge variety of instruments will be required for the public
9 CHEMICAL FERTILIZERS: A CONTRIBUTING FACTOR IN AGRICULTURAL
Cassou, E., Jaffee, S.M. and Ru, J., 2018. The challenge of agricultural pollution: Evidence from
China, Vietnam, and the Philippines. World Bank Publications.
Chen, Y.H., Wen, X.W., Wang, B. and Nie, P.Y., 2017. Agricultur al pollution and regulation:
how to subsidize agriculture?. Journal of cleaner production, 164, pp.258 -264.
Delang, C.O., 2017. Causes and distribution of soil pollution in China. Environmental & Socio -
economic Studies, 5(4), pp.1 -17.
Evans, A.E., Mateo -Sagasta, J., Qadir, M., Boelee, E. and Ippolito, A., 2019. Agricultural water
pollution: key knowledge gaps and research needs. Current opinion in environmental
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Giang, P.H., Harada, H., Fujii, S., Lien, N.P.H., Hai, H.T., Anh , P.N. and Tanaka, S., 2015.
Transition of fertilizer application and agricultural pollution loads: a case study in the Nhue -Day
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Mahanty, T., Bhattacharjee, S., Goswami, M., Bhattacharyya, P. , Das, B., Ghosh, A. and Tribedi,
P., 2017. Biofertilizers: a potential approach for sustainable agriculture
development. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 24(4), pp.3315 -3335.
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10 CHEMICAL FERTILIZERS: A CONTRIBUTING FACTOR IN AGRICULTURAL
Sharma, N. and Singhvi, R., 2017. Effects of chemical fertilizers and pesticides on human health
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11 CHEMICAL FERTILIZERS: A CONTRIBUTING FACTOR IN AGRICULTURAL
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