Phosphorus is one of the key elements necessary for growth of plants and animals. Phosphates (PO4---) are formed from this element. Phosphates exist in three forms: orthophosphate, metaphosphate (or polyphosphate) and organically bound phosphate. Each compound contains phosphorous in a different chemical formula. Ortho forms are produced by natural processes and are found in sewage. Poly forms are used for treating boiler waters and in detergents. In water, they change into the ortho form. Organic phosphates are important in nature. Their occurrence may result from the breakdown of organic pesticides, which contain phosphates. They may exist in solution, as particles, loose fragments or in the bodies of aquatic organisms. Rainfall can cause varying amounts of phosphates to wash from farm soils into nearby waterways. Phosphate will stimulate the growth of plankton and aquatic plants which provide food for fish. This may cause an increase in the fish population and improve the overall water quality. However, if an excess of phosphate enters the waterway, algae and aquatic plants will grow wildly, choke up the waterway and use up large amounts of oxygen. This condition is known as eutrophication or over-fertilization of receiving waters. This rapid growth of aquatic vegetation eventually dies and as it decays it uses up oxygen. This process in turn causes the death of aquatic life because of the further reduction of dissolved oxygen levels.

The term "phosphorus" was found in the following pages:

LC-ICP-MS: The most often used hyphenated system for speciation analysis | EVISA's News
DFG presents the 2005 MAK and BAT value lists | EVISA's News
Instrument database: Shimadzu Europe - GC-2014
Link database: Calcium in Food
Directory of scientists: Paul J. Worsfold
Instrument database: Agilent Technologies Inc. - 6890 N GC
Arsenic species in rice: Origin, uptake and geographical variation | EVISA's News
Plasma source detection techniques for gas chromatography | EVISA's News
Occurrence of Mercurous [Hg(I)] Species in Environmental Solid Matrices | EVISA's News
Arsenic, an element of archaic life ? | EVISA's News
ICP-MS: A versatile detection system for speciation analysis | EVISA's News
Certified reference materials for leaching procedures | EVISA's News
Link database: LGC Project S2 Speciation of sulfur and phosphorus using chromatography and interference-reducing ICP-MS for pharmaceutical and industrial applications
Material database: IRMM - Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements - BCR-684 - River Sediment
Material database: Sigma-Aldrich - Matrix CRM - Soil, Sludge, Sediment: Trace Metals - Sandy Loam 3
EU agrees on maximum cadmium level in fertilisers | EVISA's News
Application of Mass Spectrometry to Speciation Analysis in the Life Sciences | EVISA's Agenda of Events
Instrument database: Thermo Scientific - ELEMENT XR
Instrument database: Thermo Scientific - ELEMENT-2
Council Decision 75/437/EEC on Marine Pollution from Land-based Sources | EVISA's News