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    The Phosphorus (III) derivatives, named Phosphonates, include congeners with properties as fungicides that are effective in controlling Oomycetes. Examples are organic compounds like Fosetyl-Al [Aluminium tris-(ethylphosphonate)] and salts formed with the anion of phosphonic acid [(OH)2HPO] and Potassium, Sodium and Ammonium cations. According to IUPAC, the correct nomenclature for these compounds is "phosphonates", but in common language and scientific literature they are often named "phosphites", creating ambiguity. The European legislation restricts the use of phosphonates, with the ban for application in organic agriculture. However, phosphonate residues were detected in some organic products due to their addition to fertilizers allowed in organic agriculture. The legitimacy of this addition is controversial, as it is not evident if phosphonates have also a nutritional role in addition to their fungicidal properties. The new European Directive EU 1009/2019 resolves the problem by banning the phosphonates addition to fertilizers and placing a limit of 0.5% by mass for unintentional addition. However, an official method is not available for phosphonates determination in fertilizers and approval by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) is necessary in a short time. This review presents an overview about the chemical, biological, analytical and legislative aspects of phosphonates and aims at providing: clarity on the correct nomenclature to avoid misunderstandings; the evaluation of phosphonates properties with the absence of a nutritional role, justifying the ban on adding to fertilizers; a summary of analytical techniques that could be considered by CEN to complete the analytical background for the agricultural use of phosphonates. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


    Maria Chiara Manghi, Mauro Masiol, Riccardo Calzavara, Pier Luigi Graziano, Elisabetta Peruzzi, Bruno Pavoni. The use of phosphonates in agriculture. Chemical, biological properties and legislative issues. Chemosphere. 2021 Nov;283:131187

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    PMID: 34157623

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