Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Careless cerium, and zinc-shrinking
A diesel fuel catalyst can inhibit soy plant growth. The catalyst, cerium oxide, inhibits nitrogen-fixing bacteria that live in the root nodules of soy plants. As farm tractors burn diesel fuel, the tractor exhaust containing cerium-oxide settles on the field and becomes part of the soil.
The zinc oxide used in sunscreens and antimicrobial agents makes soy leaves smaller. Zinc oxide can be conveyed to fields in treated sewage solids used as fertilizer.
"Nanosized pollutants pose crop risks
Some harm crops or boost plants’ ability to pick up toxic materials through their roots"
By Janet Raloff (Science News)