Reduce Nitrogen Pollution, a Killer in Disguise


Target: U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack

Goal: Reduce dangerous nitrogen pollution to help human health and the environment

Nitrogen, the key fertilizer for growing nutritious food, is also a growing concern for public health. A new study conducted by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) indicates that nitrogen pollution has the potential to rise 20 percent by 2050 if no efforts to reduce pollution from nitrogen are made. During the process of fertilizing crops, excess chemical compounds containing nitrogen are released into the air and waterways, aggravating asthma sufferers and increasing cancer risks.

Although nitrogen fertilization is a common practice of farming, the copious amounts of nitrogen being administered to crops is unnecessary. When excess nitrogen is not absorbed by crops, it becomes a toxic substance by being blown away by the wind, washed out by rain, or decomposed by microorganisms.

Implementing strict regulations on the amount of nitrogen administered to crops, will greatly reduce unnecessary air and water pollution. Reducing nitrogen levels will reduce risks to human health and keep the earth cleaner, by keeping crops more sustainable and ultimately, more nutritious. If something is not done to prevent excess nitrogen from polluting the air and waterways, the irreversible damage will lead to the formation of ground-level ozone, a destabilized water ecosystem, and more cases of cancer-related death.

By signing this petition you are urging Tom Vilsack, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to take responsible action and put a limit on the amount of nitrogen fertilizer that may be administered to crops. For example, halving the amount of nitrogen used in agriculture is a reasonable goal that would reduce human death, while also preserving farmland in a sustainable manner.


Dear Mr. Vilsack,

One of the most commonly used fertilizers, nitrogen, is being administered to crops in irresponsible amounts across the United States, causing the unabsorbed nutrients to pollute our air and waterways. Excess nitrogen is causing irreversible damage to fragile water ecosystems, and causes ground-level ozone pollution. It is also contributing to human suffering by aggravating asthma and increasing cancer risk.

Unfortunately, conditions are only getting worse. The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) has stepped in to conduct a new study, which revealed that nitrogen pollution has the potential to rise 20 percent by 2050 if no mitigation efforts are made. This would mean the future generations of Americans would have no choice but to unfairly suffer the damage that we are causing today.

I urge you to recognize that the serious devastation caused by excess nitrogen pollution can be reduced, by implementing strict regulations on the ratio of nitrogen to soil. I am calling on you to take action, and demand responsible agricultural practices from those who farm the land.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Deviant Art

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