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Web Date: November 17, 2010

Ammonia Fertilizer May Solve Pesticide Problem

Pesticides: New technique could cut emissions of ozone-destroying methyl bromide from fumigated soils
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Environmental SCENE
Keywords: soil fumigants, methyl bromide, ozone layer, ammonia fertilizer, Montreal Protocol, pesticides

The soil fumigant methyl bromide kills crop-damaging nematode worms and fungi. Unfortunately, it also rips holes in the ozone layer and threatens farm workers' health. Now researchers have shown in laboratory experiments that ammonia fertilizer can degrade this pesticide (Environ. Sci. Technol., DOI: 10.1021/es1022027). Although the study is preliminary, the researchers think that the method could prevent methyl bromide emissions from crop fields.

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