What Dangers Can Fertilizers Cause?


Fertilizers can improve the appearance and health of your lawn or garden, but they can also create health and environmental dangers. Fertilizers can pollute groundwater, endanger children and pets, disturb aquatic life and even damage your grass.

Groundwater Pollution

Chemical and organic fertilizers can contaminate groundwater and surface water like lakes and rivers, which can damage aquatic ecosystems and endanger human health.

Health Dangers

Fertilizers can also be dangerous to pets and children, causing increased risk of leukemia, asthma, allergies, birth defects and decreased fertility.

Aquatic Disturbance

Fertilizers can also disturb aquatic ecosystems. For example, nutrients can cause excessive algae growth and can kill fish.

Lawn Damage

Overuse of fertilizers can also harm your lawn or garden. Always read fertilizer directions carefully and do not use more than recommended.

Fertilizer Safety

If you choose to use fertilizers, don't over-water after applying fertilizer, check your soil's pH before adding fertilizer, sweep up spilled fertilizer and leave lawn clippings on the lawn after mowing.


  • Oregon State Extension: Don't let fertilizer sneak into your water supply
  • RATE: Pesticide Facts
  • EPA: Protecting Water Quality (PDF)
Keywords: fertilizer and pets, fertilizing your lawn, fertilizer safety, fertilizer dangers

About this Author

Rebekah Richards has been a professional writer since 2009. Her fiction and nonfiction have been published in the "Atlanta-Journal Constitution," "Where the Children Play," "Philosophically Speaking," "Brandeis University Law Journal" and tolerance.org. In 2010, she graduated magna cum laude from Brandeis University with degrees in creative writing, English and American literature, and international studies. She is also an accomplished digital artist.