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
Gadolinium found in the brain of a patient two years after having received a Gd-based contrast agent for medical imaging | EVISA's News
Speciation analysis of gadolinium retained in the rat brain after administration of gadolinium-based contrast agents | EVISA's News
Agilent Technologies Introduces Breakthrough ICP-MS and MP-AES Platforms | EVISA's News
Instrument database: Techcomp (Holdings) Ltd. - GC7900
Instrument database: Techcomp (Holdings) Ltd. - GC7890II
Directory of scientists: William R. Cullen
Imaging and Identification of Sulfur Species within Corals by X-ray Spectroscopy | EVISA's News
Spatially resolved speciation analysis: A new technique based on laser ablation with simultaneous elemental and molecular mass spectrometry | EVISA's News
Instrument database: Shimadzu Europe - GC-2014
Instrument database: Oxford Instruments - ARC-MET8000
Material database: Sigma-Aldrich - Matrix CRM - Soil, Sludge, Sediment: Trace Elements on Fresh Water Sediment
Instrument database: Bran+Luebbe GmbH - AutoAnalyzer 3
Material database: Sigma-Aldrich - Matrix CRM - Soil, Sludge, Sediment: Trace Metals - Sewage Amended Soil
Material database: Sigma-Aldrich - Matrix CRM - Soil, Sludge, Sediment: Trace Metals - Sewage Sludge 2
Agilent e-Seminar: A Metallomics Approach for Analysis of Biological and Environmental Compounds via ICP-MS | EVISA's Agenda of Events
Instrument database: Thermo Scientific - ELEMENT-2
1,2-Hexanediol as eluent for HPLC Enables Coupling with ICPMS under Standard Conditions | EVISA's News
Link database: Chemical Fact Sheet: Phosphorus
Instrument database: Analytik Jena AG - contrAA 700 - High-Resolution Continuum Source Atomic Absorption Spectrometer for Flame, Hydride and