formula: P; CAS Registry Number: 7723-14-0

Common element in the environment and constituent of many minerals

It is highly reactive and therefore naturally not present in its elementary form.
Phosphorus plays an important role as fertilizer. Further applications are found in chemical industry, food industry, pyrotechnics and agriculture (pesticide).

Phosphorus is essential to all living organisms. It is component of the nucleic acids DNA and RNA, the cell membrane phospholipids and the nucleotides ATP and ADP which are involved in cellular energy transfer.
Natural phosphorous compounds are nontoxic. They may, however, trigger eutrophication of water and reduce biodiversity in soil.

In contrast, man-made phosphorous compounds and modifications of elementary phosphor may be highly toxic.

Phosphorus is not accumulated by organisms.


Sampling area

Sampling period

1994 - 2019

Extended information

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