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This book addresses the widespread public concern about the effects of nitrate derived from farming, on water quality and public health. It begins by examining the reasons for nitrogen fertilizer use and how nitrate escapes from arable and grassland systems. The book then moves on to discuss ecological changes in coastal and estuarine water caused by nitrate, and the threat to the ozone layer caused by nitrous oxide. It also reviews the existing research on the effects of nitrate on health. The book builds on Farming, Fertilizers and the Nitrate Problem (CABI, 1991) by Addiscott, Whitmore and Powlson, and has been revised to take account of new developments and to bring out more clearly the role of politicians and economists in the 'nitrate problem'. It concludes that there are wide discrepancies between public perceptions and reality.
T Addiscott, Rothamsted Research, Harpenden, UK