Dirty nitrogen

Excessive use of nitrogenous fertilizers damages the environment. Emission of nitrous oxide from such fertilizers is a major source of agricultural greenhouse gases. Nitrous oxide has 296 times more global-warming potential than CO2 and also triggers destruction of the ozone layer. Nitrogen oxides are an important component of acid rain.

Leaching of unused nitrogenous fertilizer, in the form of nitrate, into groundwater tables causes serious health hazards.

Nitrate in drinking water acts as a carcinogen and affects reproduction and development in human beings. Ingested nitrate increases the oxidation of haemoglobin to methemoglobin, which is incapable of carrying oxygen in the blood.

Related Content