Published on : 28 April 20203 min reading time
Farmers use chemical fertilizers to increase crop yields. The main ones are NPK or nitrogen, phosphate and potassium, which are used to over-feed the soil to make it fertile. At first glance, these fertilizers make up for nutrient deficiencies in the soil. But, over time, they eventually degrade the soil. Worse still, this is not without impact on humans.
Why do farmers use chemical fertilizers?
On the one hand, as the world’s population has multiplied, food crises have occurred. We had to produce more to feed the entire population. On the other hand, farmers want to make more profit by producing more. And this has become possible thanks to chemical agricultural fertilizers. They work as a booster to speed up the time of harvest. Also, with the massive exploitation of the soil, they become sterile. Chemical fertilizers provided good soil nutrition to solve this problem. Unfortunately, these nitrogen, phosphate and potassium fertilizers in massive doses modify (pollute and intoxicate) the natural environment of soils and groundwater.
What are the impacts of chemical fertilizers on humans?
The first victims of chemical agricultural fertilizers are mankind and particularly farmers. These fertilizers contain chemical substances that can be inhaled by farmers and peasants. The effects are still uncertain, but they are the cause of many diseases such as leukaemia and cancer. In addition, these chemicals seep into the soil and groundwater. Nitrates will poison the water that people drink every day, but not only that. Animals will also drink this water and will be poisoned. The consumption of these animals is an additional danger to humans.
What are the impacts of chemical fertilizers on the environment?
We cannot separate the impacts on the environment from those on humans. When the environment is affected, man necessarily pays the consequences. The degradation of the environment is more critical than ever to add chemical substances to its abundance. Although chemical agricultural fertilizers feed plants to help them grow quickly, they can also kill them. Too high a concentration of nutrients will kill plants. And even in controlled doses, these fertilizers are addictive. They will kill microorganisms in the soil (worms, fungi, etc.) and then create a dependency for soil that is too poor in organic matter. Then, in contact with the water from the watering, the fertilizers promote the salinization and sterilization of the soil. Worse still, if we do not stop the abusive use of these chemical fertilizers, we will be forced to face the desertification of the soil. Then these substances seep into the water tables and pollute drinking water, rivers, seas and oceans. Finally, the ozone layer is not spared because of the volatilization of these chemicals, which generate greenhouse gases.