Reactive nitrogen compounds and their influence on human health

Reactive nitrogen (Nr) has a wide range of beneficial and detrimental effects on ecosystems and human health. Of all essential nutrients nitrogen (N) is required in the largest amount and is often the limiting nutrient.

Humans need to take up N with protein that is basic for the development, upkeep and repair of all body’s cells. Human production of Nr via Haber-Bosch process and cultivation-induced biological N2 fixation has doubled global N cycling over the last century, with negative effects on the environment. Increased circulation of Nr in the environment is responsible for serious human health effects via different pathways.