Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Cost of Nitrogen Pollution on the European Economy

A first ever report (ENA - European Nitrogen Assessment) was just released outlining the cost of nitrogen pollution on the European Union's Economy.  

The study carried out by 200 experts from 21 countries and 89 organizations estimates that nitrogen pollution costs Europe between USD 101 Billion - 461.7 Billion per year or USD 212.00 and USD 1,062.00 per person per annum.   These costs are more than double the income gained from using nitrogen fertilizers in European agriculture.

The report also details a number of key assessments of nitrogen pollution including: 
Nitrates cause toxic algal blooms and dead zones especially in the North, Adriatic and Baltic Seas and along the West Coast of France in Brittany.
at least ten million people in Europe are potentially exposed to drinking water with nitrate levels above recommended levels.

The study also states that at least half the world's population is dependent on food that is grown with nitrogen based fertilizers but that the environmental costs of nitrogen pollution to Europe are very high and that the benefits of nitrogen abatement achieved by applying and using fertilizers more efficiently and reducing meat consumption outweigh the costs of other options.

Click here for the full report

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