The Effects of Fertilizer on the Environment if used Irresponsibly

Fertilizer plays a very important role in today’s world. For instance, fertilizer helps to ensure that the food source is adequate for the world. Other than that, we are also able to enjoy larger, and more delicious produce that results from fertilizer usage. Economically viewing the issue, fertilizer usage has also created a vast variety of jobs and also sustained the global economy.

With the correct handling, fertilizer undoubtedly brings lots of positive effects. However, what happens if the fertilizer industry is handled irresponsibly? What if farmers started to misuse fertilizer?

For one obvious effect, if fertilizer usage was abused, the less developed countries could face starvation. If the more developed countries decided to manipulate the fertilizer business, less developed countries will not have enough food to sustain their population, and thus, causing starvation.

On the environmental view, it can be very dangerous if fertilizer was used irresponsibly. One of the main effects of over usage of fertilizer is the depletion of the soil quality. Though we may think that using more fertilizer makes the soil more fertile, it is actually the opposite. When too much fertilizer is used over the long run, the acidity of the soil increases, making it infertile for growth of plants. Over the years, the soil would not be able to grow any plants and would become barren.

Other than that, when fertilizer is used at a higher dosage than it should be, there is more runoff of fertilizer into the neighbouring lakes and ponds. This phenomenon is known as eutrophication. The runoff contains nitrates and phosphorus which promotes the growth of algae on the surface of the water. With the algae covering the water surfaces, oxygen either reaches the aquatic life at a very low rate or none at all, slowly killing the fauna. Other than that, sunlight also has trouble reaching the base of the water bodies, thus killing the flora which is the source of food for many living organisms under the water surface.