Journal Highlights

Phosphorus Pollution Reaching Dangerous Levels Worldwide

Press Release—

Humans discharge four times the weight of the Empire State Building’s worth of phosphorus into freshwater bodies each year, a new study finds.

Man-made phosphorus pollution is reaching dangerously high levels in freshwater basins around the world, according to new research.

new study published in Water Resources Research, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, estimated the global amount of phosphorus from human activities that entered Earth’s freshwater bodies from 2002 to 2010.

Phosphorus is a common component of mineral and manure fertilizers because it boosts crop yields. However, a large portion of phosphorus applied as fertilizer is not taken up by plants, and either builds up in the soil or washes into rivers, lakes and coastal seas, according to the study’s authors....more