They can also interfere with the efficiency of industrial processes such as alumina extraction from bauxite, adversely affect water purification, and form carcinogens during raw water disinfection.
Along with a good climate, fertile soils are a necessity for human existence, survival, and enjoyment of life.
Terrified residents are fleeing Tokyo today as the Fukushima nuclear plant destroyed by last week's tsunami threatened to send a cloud of radioactive dust across Japan.
This followed a third reactor explosion last night, with emergency crews fighting to avoid a catastrophic meltdown as radiation levels soar in the country.
California has been advising residents not to buy the drug, as it could cause side effects in those allergic to shellfish or suffering from thyroid problems.
Kelly Huston of the California Emergency Management Agency said state officials and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission are telling people not to buy the pills.
Worried Americans are panic-buying drugs to protect themselves against the nuclear fallout in Japan, as fears grow of harmful radiation blowing across to the West Coast. Ms Benjamin made the remarks to NBC Bay Area while touring a California hospital.
Stocks of potassium iodide tablets, which aim to stop radiation poisoning the thyroid gland, are running low and customers missing out are said to be ‘crying’ or ‘terrified’. Anbex quickly sold out of a 10,000-strong supply of 14-tablet packages on Saturday.‘They're terrified.’Fleming Pharmaceuticals, which makes liquid potassium iodide, say they are getting dozens of calls and emails every hour for their 45ml .25 Thyro Shield bottles.‘It actually has been insanity here,’ co-owner Deborah Fleming Wurdack said.The company expects to sell out this week and is planning to manufacture more.Potassium iodide, which stops the body from taking in radioactive iodine from a nuclear emergency, can be purchased without a prescription.The salt fills up the thyroid gland and stops it collecting radioactive material - reducing the risk of cancer and other health problems.Not only are they important for soil fertility, but they are also precursors of kerogens, peat, asphalt, bitumen, petroleum, and coal.