Why Is Some Fertilizer Radioactive And Why Are You Putting It On Your Lawn?

Phosphorus Fertilizer in Your Lawn or Garden


Fertilizers containing phosphorus are a major source of groundwater contamination and radiation exposure during lawn maintenance.
The most common method for making fertilizer, that contains phosphorous, leaves behind a waste called phosphogypsum, which emits radon, a radioactive gas. It also contains uranium and radium, which are radioactive elements.


Phosphorous is an essential nutrient for plants and a common ingredient in many fertilizers. However, the processing of phosphate rock to make phosphate-based fertilizer may leave radium (Ra-226) in the end product. The levels of Ra-226 vary depending upon the type of fertilizer blend and the origin of the phosphate rock.


Starter fertilizer can contain higher phosphorus levels.

Categories: Changing Nature, Pure IdiocracyTags: ,


  1. I have heard of this before. Isn’t it funny that we poison ourselves and our families, just trying to control our own grass? Grass, that’s how good life is here in America, that we are obsessed with grass!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Not using it in my garden but interesting post!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Eggshells, man, eggshells. Crush them up as finely as you can, and spread them over anything you grow.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Damn. If it ain’t roundup, it’s this.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m not too concerned. Radon has a half-life of 3.8 days and dissipates quickly in open air. You’ll receive higher exposures sitting in a closed environment — especially if your house is situated on clay soils — or sitting in a hot spring. I don’t know anyone who eats their grass, and few people spend much time on their lawns other than to mow, weed and water them.

    From Wikipedia:

    Radon is produced by the radioactive decay of radium-226, which is found in uranium ores, phosphate rock, shales, igneous and metamorphic rocks such as granite, gneiss, and schist, and to a lesser degree, in common rocks such as limestone.Every square mile of surface soil, to a depth of 6 inches (2.6 km2 to a depth of 15 cm), contains approximately 1 gram of radium, which releases radon in small amounts to the atmosphere. On a global scale, it is estimated that 2.4 billion curies (90 EBq) of radon are released from soil annually.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You Stated — “few people spend much time on their lawns other than to mow, weed and water them.”

      My Response — I’ve seen kids spend hours across multiple lawns. They will play on them right after the soil is treated.

      The decay of radon gas produces radioactive particles. Once inhaled, these particles may be retained in the lungs. Further particle decay emits ‘bursts’ of energy, damaging lung tissue and potentially resulting in lung cancer (U.S Environmental Protection Agency, 1992). The National Cancer Institute estimates that approximately 10 percent of lung cancer deaths (15,000 deaths each year) in the United States are related to residential radon (National Cancer Institute, 1997). Reports indicate that children are at higher risk for certain cancers from radon (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1992).

      Your wiki clip is about natural Radon, it doesn’t address dumping tons on communities year round with kids rolling around in it.

      I think the EPA and NCI are better sources for the health impact of Radon over Wiki.

      Just saying


      • From the EPA website:

        Phosphate rock contains the mineral phosphorus, an ingredient used in some fertilizers to help plants grow strong roots. Phosphate rock contains small amounts of naturally-occurring radionuclides, mostly uranium and radium. When processing phosphate rock to make fertilizer, the phosphorous is removed by dissolving the rock in an acidic solution. The waste that is left behind is called phosphogypsum. Most of the naturally-occurring uranium, thorium and radium found in phosphate rock ends up in this waste.


        IOW, most of the radioactive materials are left behind in the waste product. And unless your using a starter fertilizer (which are applied to new lawns which are off limits to everyone until the lawn is well established), the P portion of the N-P-K ratio is very small (and quite often 0). Moreover, the seasonal application rate is usually between 3 – 6 lb of nitrogen per 1000 sq ft for warm weather grasses and 1 – 3 lb per 1000 sq ft for cool weather grasses.

        So I stand by my original comment: the radon concentrations in your home are likely to be higher than the radon concentrations in your yard.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Your added understanding actually makes the situation worse since it acknowledges that natural radon already in 5he environment is being amplified by our unnatural processes.

          Let’s also note that many home owners have now adopted the process of renewing the lawn once a year with a full fertilizer burn.

          You’re just exposing the situation to be worse than what I reported on. Oo


          • How so? Per the information given in the link, most of the radioactive materials are left behind as waste byproducts at the processing facility. What little radioactive phosphorous you get in the bag (if anything at all) is but a tiny fraction of the original. And that’s assuming your fertilizer contains Florida-based phosphate rock.

            As for improper application, that’s what we call a user error. Any product can be dangerous if it’s misused or misapplied.

            Moreover, if you’re truly concerned about your fertilizer,shouldn’t you be equally concerned about all the other products in your home that contain phosphorous?


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