Ask any gardener or farmer whether they prefer organic or chemical fertilizer, and chances are you’ll get into a debate. Chemicals such as pesticides and antibiotics are used in the plant as well as animal farming to boost production and there are hundreds of them used around the world. It is not just about the production but to ensure food is not damaged or destroyed by pests. So, what do you think about using chemical fertilizers? Are they good for vegetables and human health?
What are Fertilizers?
To better understand the harmful effects of fertilizers, it is crucial to know what fertilizers are… Fertilizers are chemical substances used to make the soil more fertile so that any crop or vegetables grow faster with no risk of pests. Basically, fertilizers are a composition of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous. One of the biggest risks of using these chemicals in excess is the contamination of groundwater, which may trigger many dangerous diseases.
Well! There are some set standards to use chemical fertilizers for agricultural and veterinary purposes. The set standards or levels are considered safe but the excessive use can be toxic, and some can cause problems if consumed by humans in large amounts. The toxicity depends on its function and factors like the route of exposure (swallowing, inhaling, direct contact with the skin, etc).
Let’s dive deep into the topic and understand how chemical fertilizers are dangerous to our health…
The Dangers of Using Excessive Chemical fertilizers in Vegetables
The use of pesticides and other chemicals can dramatically increase crop production. However, these chemical are toxic and excessive use can adversely affect the quality of vegetables. Chemical fertilizers do not contain any trace minerals and over time these elements go missing in the fruits or vegetables which mean diminished quality. Also, when used with chemical pesticides and fungicides, it has a negative impact on the quality of soil as well as the vegetables.
Chemical fertilizers kill microorganisms which mean that the soil becomes useless overtime where nothing can grow. Furthermore, the usage of toxic substances has a long term effect on the plants and the environment.
The Dangers of Using Chemical Fertilizers on Human Health
As far as the impact of chemical fertilizers on human health is concerned, the toxic substances can have far-reaching effects. They can cause toxicity within most individuals who consume chemical sprayed fruits and vegetables. When toxic substances get absorbed into the plants and enter the food chain, they are directly or indirectly consumed by humans. Also, the biggest harmful effect is that the chemicals contaminate groundwater and cause diseases when it is drunk by common people.
The consumption of contaminated food and water increase the chances of fetal abnormalities as well as abnormalities in the endocrine and neurological systems of the baby. The use of urea contributes to acid rain and depletion of the Ozone layer in the atmosphere. This further leads to diseases like birth abnormalities, hypertension, stomach cancer, testicular cancer, gastric and many other problems.
What’s the Solution?
The biggest challenge is what to use to increase the amount of nutrients in the soil and make it more fertile because plants need nutrients to grow. There are two main types of fertilizers – Organic and Chemical and as the name suggests, organic come from organic sources while chemicals are toxic substances. Chemicals do allow farmers to produce more crops in the short-term but it may affect the soil in the long term. So, being organic is the best solution to provide nutrients to the vegetables as well as humans…
What do you say? Do share your valuable comments on the use of chemical and organic fertilizers…