A study from the United Kingdom claims farm fertilizers are polluting the rocks beneath our feet, and may lead to severe global consequences. Researchers at the British Geological Survey claim nitrates from fertilizers could have severe global-scale consequences for rivers, water supplies, human health and the economy. Researchers said as the nitrates settle into the earth, they will be released from the rocks into rivers via springs, which the study claims will cause toxic algal blooms and fish deaths, along with costing billions in water treatment processes.
Most nitrates, the researchers continue, are in rocks in North America, China and Europe where fertilizers are used on farm fields. The BBC notes that the European Union is trying to clamp down on applications of nitrates while farmers push back, calling the fertilizers vital to agriculture. However, any controls won’t stop the current flow of nitrates already stored in the soil that will eventually reach water supplies, according to the study.
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