The Governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick, just signed law restricting phosphorus in fertilizers by 2014. Phosphorus has been causing toxic algae blooms in lakes and rivers; the excessive amount of synthetic and natural phosphorus washing into ponds is fueling the growth of cyanobacteria, a blue-green algae. Exposure to this toxic algae can cause serious illness. Even when the algae dies, it depletes oxygen in the water, suffocating fish, mollusks and marine animals.

Phosphorus has now been banned in more than sixteen states. Water bodies all over the country have been profoundly affected by phosphorus-caused toxic algae blooms. The cost to clean water bodies contaminated by toxic algae and excessive plant growth is staggering.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that 80 percent of synthetic fertilizer does not stay on people’s yards. Instead, it washes into streams and ponds that are great distances away.