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Pollution by Fertilizer


"A, Fan's injection of excess nitrogen into the biosphere not only is seriously polluting rivers and lakes but also has greatly increased the frequency of a rare form of poisoning among both humans and domestic animals. Reporting at a symposium on pollution during the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Barry Commoner of Washington University noted these results of the rise in nitrogen production in the U.S. during the past 25 years. Nitrogen from sewage, a reflection of the nation's population growth, lias increased no more than 70 percent in that time, but the oxides of nitrogen produced by power plant fumes and automobile exhaust have increased by 300 percent and the use of nitrogen fertilizers by 1,400 percent. The last two processes add some 10 million tons of nitrogen compounds to the environment each year, more nitrogen than is cycled annually within the U.S. by all the processes of nature combined.