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the_virginian

Concrete Proof Milorganite is bad

the_virginian
16 years ago

I've been using the stuff for years and had an independent lab test it that concluded tap water had more contaminats in higier concentrations it than Milorganite. Why is the so called organic movement luke warm on this product? Is it just the fact it is human poop or does it go deeper, pardon the pun..

Comments (76)

  • the_virginian
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Zeuspaul: These naysayers have no hard data to prove Milorganite or Scotts is bad, just a "what if" scenario that is more remote than me becoming an Ostrich tomorrow. You are correct, animals have even less regulation when it comes to what they are injected with etc...but even so, the "trace" that might be there is so small it is insignificant. Again, if they have real data or a study to point to not, I heard, I read ....etc. Show it, prove it. The EPA also regulates several man made organic compounds like dioxin, PCBs and pesticides. Look it up on their website for sludge.

  • the_virginian
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I called and asked about this, only some was given to the municipalities that were local and the remainder was disposed of. Some did make it into a park and 3 ball fields and they are being monitored or will have some soil removed. None was sold to the public with those concentrations. Anti-bacterial chemicals are everywhere, in the water, soil and in cow manure because that is what diary cows and other animals/equipment etc. are washed with from time to time. That too winds up in so called organic products like composted cow manure.

  • marshallz10
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    It is hard to prove a negative, isn't it?

    Also, it is a strange argument that relies on the old canard: everything is already contaminated, so using my product is no different...

    -- except that my product is heavily monitored and subject to an occasional Super Fund response to protect the public.

  • zeuspaul
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I hadn't heard that the Scotts product was *bad* from a contaminate point of view.

    My concern is the *animal factory farms* and the way animals are treated for profit. It would be different if they were treated humanely. Cows proded with a forklift is a recent memory.

    The Scotts product is made of blood, feathers and meat.

    I googled triclosan and triclocarban. They breakdown in the soil albeit slowly. So given the fact that they accumulate in sludge..so what?? I don't see any issues if they are used on roses. There may be issues if they are absorbed into vegetables and are eaten but this seams a bit of a stretch to me.

    Zeuspaul

  • madmagic
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Thank you for those links and comments, Paulns and Crankyoldman. I'd like to hear specific and respectful replies to what you folks wrote from the pro-Milorganite people, addressing the specific points and issues you raised.

    (IMO, a specific and respectful reply doesn't consist of pointing a critical finger at the attitudes of others, then sticking one's head in the sand and ignoring the substance of what others have written, here. But hey, that's just my opinion, and I suppose everyone has the right to their own definition of what an ostrich looks like.) :)

    All the best,
    -Patrick

  • marshallz10
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Thank you, Patrick

  • rootdoctor
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Just a question that some of you who are more intelligent than I may answer. In a very healthy soil, or container soil mix that has a very strong microherd, and by very strong I mean ALL the roots at the end of the season show microrhyzea (sp?) chained up along the roots. I guess my point or question is... the microherd feeds itself off of the sometimes not available or processable nutrients and micronutrients, and passes the "waste" from what it eats directly to the roots of the plant-right so far? This process is upposed to give the plants the nutrients "broken down" into plant friendly nutrients that would sometimes burn the plant or damage it in some ways - right so far? Wouldn't the microherd processsomething that is not healthy for the plant such as the discussion here, into something that benefits the plant?? or, would the herd just ignore the non-beneficial or potentially harmful things, and they just stay part of the soil? Thanks TiMo

  • althea_gw
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    "Why is the so called organic movement luke warm on this product?"

    The quick answer to this question is, because Milorganite is not organic. This is why:

    "Perhaps you were lulled by the label, the one that said "organic." Perhaps youve read that it repels deer. Perhaps you just believe in "closed systems" gardening. But think twice before you use that bag of Milorganite on your lawn or garden. Milorganite is a widely available, "organic" fertilizer that is made with processed biosolids (sludge) from the Milwaukee sewage treatment system.

    Sludge and other biosolids cannot be used in certified organic agriculture. Biosolids are considered synthetic because they contain, in addition to human waste, synthetic substances that have been intentionally or accidentally put into the wastewater system. In the U.S., these include industrial wastes because we do not have source-separated treatment of wastewater. But even residential wastewater can have contaminants, including soaps, detergent, cleansers, solvents and drain cleaners--anything that can go down the drain. The sewage treatment process itself introduces more synthetic materials, including thickeners and stabilizers that are neither natural nor inert."

    These circumstances all contribute to the complexity of sludge chemistry. They are the reason sludge is considered a synthetic substance and prohibited in organic production. We think there is cause for broader caution in the use of sludge in agriculture generally, and encourage gardeners to think carefully before using sludge-based products in their yards and gardens."

  • madmagic
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    TiMo, good questions. I'll try to respond from what I've learned and no doubt others will give you their views.

    The microherd has evolved to break down organic materials, and has also evolved to break down rock minerals and even incorporate gases from the air. Some of these processes return organic materials to the soil, some release the components of OM back to the air.

    Since the scientific revolution, people have introduced new chemicals into soil. We've also introduced concentrations of natural materials into soils -- higher amounts of natural materials than usually occur in surface soils.

    Some of the human-made materials are harmless or even helpful to soils and soil life. Other human-made materials are known and proven to harm soils and soil life, and/or harm people.

    For one broad example: the microherd does not decompose lead or cadmium and most other harmful heavy metals. Neither does it ignore them. Those harmful metals can concentrate in plant tissues and cause serious illness in the people who eat the plants.

    If you think of the soil ecosystem (the microherd) as a natural result of evolution over billions of years, it's easier to see why the microherd can't always handle chemicals created in the last hundred years. Or work effectively with concentrations of substances which are rarely (if ever) seen in natural soils.

    Hope that helps make things more clear. :)

    All the best,
    -Patrick

  • the_virginian
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I am assuming some of the push back is on me for asking for proof. Nothing was mean't disrepectfully, but I am tired of people not looking at hard data and drawing conclusions from a heresay axiom. Milorganite has never contaminated anyone's yard with heavy metals, never caused anyone to get sick from pathogens, is well below EPA and other standards for contaminants that other fertlizers, like manure are never held to or tested, yet they are considered organic and safe as a mountain stream to use. I've checked the facts and this is an excellent fertilizer that is natural and safe to use for over 80 years and now even on food crops. You may have a bias against it, and that is your choice, but remember it is not based on data or any real world finding. Show me the data on this product to the contrary and I'm willing to learn. If you can't then it is your opinion, nothing more. If you are so afraid of man made chemicals or metals, don't drink or use water out of your tap either, it is full of them. BTW: I do not work for Milorganite or have any vested interest in its failure or success nor do I sell or benefit from selling it. I am just a very satisfied customer who wants to share my very good experience.

  • the_virginian
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    This is what it comes down to. Mine is more pure, yours a bit less eventhough no one can point to a real World difference or have data to show that the end product has waste residues in it as in food crops.

  • madmagic
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Respectfully, The_Virginian, you still haven't replied to the specific comments (and the various links and quotes) Paulns and Tsugajunkie and JBest123 and Crankyoldman and Althea have made, above. Roughly half the people who have posted on this thread.

    You imply others have bias and are operating on hearsay and are not providing any proof or hard data or science. Yet, when people do quote from sources they find online, and provide links to information they think is of value -- you seem to ignore it, as if they hadn't even written on this thread.

    Just now, you wrote:

    "You may have a bias against it, and that is your choice, but remember it is not based on data or any real world finding. Show me the data on this product to the contrary and I'm willing to learn. If you can't then it is your opinion, nothing more."

    Most respectfully sir, you began this thread with the following words:

    "I've been using the stuff for years and had an independent lab test it that concluded tap water had more contaminats in higier concentrations it than Milorganite."

    In your opening words, you cited anecdotal evidence -- not hard science, not "a real world finding." You have repeatedly stated to others "Show me the data..."

    Yet... you have provided none. Only anecdotal evidence from your life; and your personal opinions; and your beliefs.

    Over and over, in the threads where you have talked about Milorganite, you have made statements about your strong beliefs of the value of this product without providing any links to citations or sources. And, as I wrote above, when others have provided links -- you refuse to even discuss them. Nor have you discussed their specific objections and comments.

    People often write about their personal experiences and beliefs, here. It's entirely welcome, IMO. I've learned many things from reading about the personal experiences and beliefs of other gardeners here.

    Your personal experience with Milorganite is also of interest to me. I've never talked with a gardener who used it, much less used it heavily. Nor have I heard of it being used in organic gardening and farming. I'm curious.

    However: my curiosity about your personal experiences and your beliefs does not extend so far as to remain silent -- while you attempt to hold others to a higher standard of discussion (and of hard scientific proof) than you yourself are willing to hold.

    People have already provided you with links and carefully phrased thoughtful objections regarding some of the issues around Milorganite. You have refused to reply to them, except to dismiss them by calling them names, directly and indirectly. Then, you restate your beliefs in Milorganite as if your beliefs were absolute facts.

    IMO, you're not playing by the same rules you are demanding others play by -- and IMO, that is both unreasonable and irrational. It is argument by name-calling, not fair and open discussion. It has nothing to do with science or with proving facts.

    Again -- for the third time -- I most respectfully invite you to read and to reply to the comments and links already made above in this thread. Five other posters on this thread (not including me) have raised a variety of objections to the use of Milorganite. Please, do speak directly to the substance of what they have already written, here. Their words deserve just as much respect and consideration as yours, sir.

    But... if you're going to just restate your beliefs in the wonders of this commercial product, and call more names against anyone who does not agree with you -- please stop. IMO you are not making a sound and rational case for the use of Milorganite. You are only making yourself sound like an unreasonable zealot. Or a paid employee.

    All the best,
    -Patrick

  • jbest123
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Virginian, you just shot your self in the foot.

    This is what it comes down to. Mine is more pure, yours a bit less even though no one can point to a real World difference or have data to show that the end product has waste residues in it as in food crops.


    If Biosolids may contain containments that it is not tested for, and barn yard manure has little or no testing at all, how can you say that one is more pure than the other? It seams that you are basing your opinion on feelings.


    John

  • the_virginian
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I was illustrating the lunacy of the debate in which one is "assumed" to be better than the other, not basing it on my feelings. Personally, from what I have observed Milorganite and Manure from commercial suppliers are equally effective and safe to use. Sorry if my point was not clear. As to organic certification, Milorganite is poo pooed, unfairly, but I guess it doesn't meet the super strict criteria that only free range manures can meet.

  • madmagic
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    The_Virginian, you still haven't replied to my multiple requests for you to read and reply to the comments other people have made on this thread. You are continuing to ignore their comments, and mine.

    You're also continuing to call names -- "the lunacy of the debate... unfairly... super strict criteria " -- and stating others are making assumptions.

    Please stop calling names. You are not practicing reasonable or rational discussion. Argument by ad hominem proves nothing.

    If you want a fair and reasonable discussion here, then reply to what other people have written. Ignoring their thoughts, opinions and links does you no credit.

    IMO, you are demanding respect and fair consideration for your opinions, your ideas and your beliefs -- which you are not giving to others. Please stop.

    All the best,
    -Patrick

  • rootdoctor
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Thank you Patrick. Your information was well presented and clear. TiMo

  • madmagic
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    You're welcome, TiMo. :) What I tried to describe in my short answers to your questions was a very broad, very general idea of how these things work, as far as I understand them.

    The original subject of this thread isn't about the questions you asked. If you still have questions or would like further information, I'd suggest posting a new thread with more questions about the issues you raised.

    Many people in the organic gardening community are concerned and interested about how things work in soil and biomediation. There's plenty of good information out there which can help organic gardeners & farmers to make informed decisions, and help to build better soil.

    I like to hope we can help each other figure out what works best for our own situations. Working together to find answers which make organic gardening work best for all of us.

    Please, do feel free to bring these issues forward, any time. When each of us feels free to ask questions and all of us can weigh the answers -- every one of us can benefit.

    All the best,
    -Patrick

  • althea_gw
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Thanks Patrick.

    Somewhat related to Rootdoctor's question about the microherd, is a news item in the Feb/March '08 issue of Organic Gardening magazine about contaminants found in earthworms living in soil fertilized with biosolids. Earthworms were found to have varying levels of phalates, detergents, pharmaceuticals, and so in their systems. More study is recommended since it is not known what the effects of these contaminants can be as the contaminants move up the food chain.

    See link for more info.

  • rootdoctor
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    That's an interesting article. I think that as far as evolution has come, we are forcing more on our planet due to the different types of chemicals/compounds we are putting into the groundwater and soils. hmmmmm makes me think Even though all of these compounds were here in some form to begin with, we have changed the chemical composition and made synthetics that probably aren't compatible with mother nature now.

  • softmentor
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Yep, human poop, that would be the reason I don't trust it. At least the biggest one.
    I think there is a chance of contamination. I know the so called experts swear up and down it is safe but it would not be the first time they were wrong.

  • joepyeweed
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    If tap water has more contaminants that milorganite, perhaps that is a statement about the quality of the tap water, more than about the quality of milorganite.

    Does organic certification forbid the addition of tap water?

  • zeuspaul
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    That's an interesting question. Most tap water has chlorine. Chlorine can form carcinogens when it reacts with some organics. Chlorine is toxic by itself. That is why it is used in tap water.

    By what stretch would chlorine be considered organic?

    Zeuspaul

  • paulns
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Virginian, you've done this forum a service by raising this subject. The work carried out to detect these chemicals in sludge, which has been reported on in the past few weeks, has been fascinating to follow. Here's another link, similar to Althea's, but points out problems with factory-farm manure too.

    "U.S. Geological Survey Scientists and their colleague from Colorado State University at Pueblo published their new findings today in Environmental Science and Technology. The results demonstrate that organic chemicals introduced to the environment via land application of biosolids and manure are transferred to earthworms and enter the food chain.

    "...Several compounds were detected in earthworms collected both from the biosolids- and manure-applied fields, including phenol (disinfectant), tributylphosphate (antifoaming agent and flame retardant), benzophenone (fixative), trimethoprim (antibiotic), and the synthetic fragrances galaxolide, and tonalide. Detergent metabolites and the disinfectant triclosan were found in earthworms from the biosolids-applied field, but not the manure-applied field."

    zeuspaul with your acreage have you tried growing green manures? And, free mushroom compost only ten miles away sounds doable too - how can sludge from a thousand miles away, that you have to pay for, work out cheaper and more practical?

    I understand what people are saying about the difficulty of finding 'clean' fertilizers. We have access to materials that are as pure as can be: washed-up seaweed and dead eelgrass, manure from farmers too hardscrabble to use a lot of drugs on their few animals, plenty of leaves, along with well water tested for 40+ chemicals including the radioactive ones. But we are the only farm-scale growers in the area. I've wondered more than once what would happen if more local people started gardening organically, as we are always encouraging them to. Would there be enough of these fertilizers to go around? One answer is green manures - cheap, easy to grow. Another is to start keeping more animals ourselves - so far we have 4 chickens.

    About humanure, why distrust it when you have control over the quality of it? That's one of the beauties of it.

  • morpheuspa (6B/7A, E. PA)
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    +1 on thumbs-up Milorganite usage here.

    It's class A, regularly tested, and the results published. Anybody with the math (or friends who like math) can calculate precisely how many mg/kg (or ppm if you prefer) are going onto your soil and you can then decide if that's acceptable.

    Add in a good chemist and you start to see that there aren't going to be too many problems and it would be nearly impossible (and nauseating) to intake enough treated soil to harm yourself. Eating out of the bag isn't a great idea, but that's true even of my soybean meal (uncontrolled for rat hair and weevil eggs, among other ickies).

    Sodium and chlorine are both fiercely reactive and often explosive, but nobody worries about exploding when they reach for the table salt. It's bad for your blood pressure, but that's another story. Sodium chloride is sodium and chlorine, but the molecule does not have the same characteristics as the sum of the characteristics of the original atoms.

    Let's not go into hydrogen (the Hindenburg) and oxygen (no smoking or open flame, really, we're not kidding) that make water...which we spray to put out several types of fires.

    That it's processed poo doesn't bother me a bit. Farmers around here use the unprocessed stuff (don't go into the farmlands in late March or early April without a gas mask. 'Nuff said). It's processed. By the time the bacteria and kiln processes get done with it, E. coli counts are extremely low. I probably get more from keeping my toothbrush in the bathroom.

    I'll warrant the squick factor of using human poo is kind of high for some people and that is a perfectly valid reason for not using it. To each his/her own. My gross-out level on that kind of thing is pretty high.

    It's not a matter of zero risk, but managed risk. If you want zero risk...well, good luck with that. Even the purest organics can foster fungal and bacterial growth that isn't in your immune system's best interest.

  • paulns
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    There seem to be two camps here, separated by a one-way mirror.

  • wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Yes, it's kind of like the proverb that "The grass is greener on the other side of the fence." Then when you try that grass, you find problems there that you didn't see before, and you go back to your KNOWN grass with its known problems.

    I suppose that there could be some toxics in some garden spots that are unknown to a gardener. Perhaps some bad stuff was burned or dumped there years ago. I think of urban community gardens. Perhaps and perhaps not. I guess the moral is that we don't like uncharted territory too well.

  • ole_dawg
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    BonK BONK,
    Check out what just happened to Augusta, GA

    http://www.ag.auburn.edu/aaes/communications/highlights/fall96/cattle.htm

    halfnosedJack and the Dawg

  • crankyoldman
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Here's how safe biosolids are:

    http://www.kansascity.com/440/story/519856.html

    "Fecophobia" my left behind.

  • marshallz10
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Thanks, Cranky, for the informative link. Think it will influence our Milorganite Man?

  • jbest123
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    If they dont keep drinking water safe, why are biosolids safe?


    http://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/pharmawater_i/2008/03/09/79023.html


    John

  • the_virginian
    Original Author
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Onbections aside, none of you offer and still do not produce proof of any kind that Milorganite is harmful. The small trace of heavy metals found in Milorganite, which is often times lower than the soil you are going to apply it to, one would need to do a heavy application every year (Cu-Copper would be the first to reach load limit)for 278 years to reach the load limit set by the EPA and has be re-assessed by the National Acedemy of Sciences. Dioxins and PCBs have been independently shown to be non-existant or barely detectible, which is more than can be said of our drinking water supply. Feelings and phobias are still not proof-sorry if that hurts a few feelings. The more research that is being done on biosoilds both class A and B shows them to be more than safe. It is clear so called organic gardeners and practices are at the extreme with an adherence to an agenda, not science.

  • douginmetrodc
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    It is clear so called organic gardeners and practices are at the extreme with an adherence to an agenda, not science

    Virginian,

    I think that this statement might be a bit inflammatory. Insinuating that the entire "organic gardening" movement and its practices are about some agenda (assuming you mean a political agenda) and not simply about people who want to use smart, healthy, and sustainable practices that nurture natural systems and leave things in good shape for those that are bound to follow us, is a bit extreme. Also, from my experience, those involved in "organic gardening" in fact do tend to take science rather seriously and follow the results of it.

    I think the skepticism about milorganite seems to be prudent, personally, even though I'd like to see the results that I know you get with it! It obviously works wonders in your garden! ;-)

    However, with the level of unknowns that have been presented by folks just in this thread alone, and by the articles and columns I've read elsewhere on the web by independent sources (sorry but I won't trust a study done by Milorganite, Inc itself!), some caution does seem wise.

    At any rate, you are obviously comfortable with the use of the product and feel it poses little or insignificant risk. For your sake and those that may live there in the future, I sure hope you're right! I am just not as comfortable taking that risk. And make no mistake, there is a risk involved.

    I think I'll stick with leaf humus and organic materials I get from my yard, as well as shredded bark and wood that comes from trusted sources. Nothing is completely safe, as you pointed out, but I certainly think prudence is good.

    Also, I would enjoy seeing a link or something that shows the results of the lab testing that you had done on your soils. That sounds fascinating! Can you share it?

  • douginmetrodc
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I wonder if anyone feels this way about Miracle Gro, as that is something that I HAVE used! Thoughts?

  • the_virginian
    Original Author
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    It is true not all, but many in the so called "organic" movement to gardening are bordering on being zealots, while science has shown that Milorganite to be extremely safe, load limits for metals are in the 100s of years and the fact there has never been a documented case of Milorganite causing harm to anyone. I'm not refering to some other lesser quality class B biosolid that others are referencing. The independent research was done for the DoD and it is not in the public domain yet and was not sponsored by Milorganite. I think the risk is more media hype than science and I have looked at the data. I have found similar studies and I will try to post links soon. And yes, I am more than comfortable using the product and the results are amazing. I do use other humus based or wood based products in my yard and occasionally do use Miracle Gro and add urea for that extra boost to the plants.

  • whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Virginian, If Milorganite is the best fert on the market, why do you still need to use Miracle Grow and Urea? How do you know the "great results" you've seen aren't from the Miracle Grow?

  • the_virginian
    Original Author
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    One season I did not use Milorganite and used Miracle Gro on my bananas, cannas and elephant ears. The results were good, but not spectacular. The next season, I used only Milorganite and the results were amazing, more than twice the growth. The next season after that I used Milorganite on the plants twice a season and everyother time I watered I used Miracle Gro spiked with urea. It was like frick'n "Jack and the Beanstalk!" My cold hardy palms put on a foot or more in trunk growth, cannas that were 14 feet high and cold hardy and tropical varieties of bananas that in some cases were over 20 feet high! I am not exaggerating, it was incredible and a sight to behold by July.

  • paulns
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Virginian you are fixated on heavy metals, and ignore the other, very serious dangers of sewage sludge - ingredients that are not tested for.

    "What goes down the drain, from ibuprofen to soaps, gets turned out to pasture via toxic sludge, researchers warn

    What goes down the drain -- detergents, personal-care products and discarded and excreted medications -- may be out of sight and out of mind, but they are not, unfortunately, out of this world.

    Significant amounts of toxic chemicals from households persist in the environment because they end up in sewage sludge. Though pathogens are removed in wastewater treatment plants, no treatment is required to address some of the most abundant chemical contaminants that originate in the home. So sludge and sludge-rich composts, often containing toxic chemicals, are commonly applied to farmland, parks, forests and yards.

    Take ibuprofen (its many trade names include Advil and Motrin), for example, the third most consumed drug in the world. Wastewater treatment plants remove 60 to 90 percent of it, but that's not enough, warns a Cornell researcher.

    "Given the volume that is consumed, a lot still goes out to the environment," says Anthony G. Hay, Cornell associate professor of microbiology and director of Cornell's Institute for Comparative and Environmental Toxicology. He studies how ibuprofen and other chemicals present in sewage sludge are degraded by microorganisms.

    "Even low concentrations of ibuprofen have been found to affect the way fish spawn, so we don't want it accumulating in the environment," says Hay. "Understanding the biological fate is very important for being able to predict the potential for toxicity of compounds. In the case of ibuprofen, we were able to show that it can be degraded to nontoxic intermediates."

    Since legislation prohibits dumping sewage sludge in the ocean, most of it in this country is applied to soil for its nutrients and to improve the physical properties of the soil, which is often cheaper than landfill or incineration.

    "However, there are no requirements in the U.S. to test for or remediate organic pollutants in sewage sludges, and sludges contain a wide variety of these contaminants that conventional treatment does not eliminate," adds Ellen Z. Harrison, who served as director of Cornell's Waste Management Institute for many years until her recently announced retirement.

    Gardeners may unknowingly use sludge-based products, such as free compost, because labeling is not mandated. Some products even use the term "organic" on their labels, says Harrison."

  • paulns
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I think this bears repeating.

  • paulns
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    You really ought to read about this stuff.

  • paulns
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Because you seem to ignore it, obsessive-compulsively, focus on heavy metals and call us fecophobes.

  • paulns
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Which is a red herring.

  • paulns
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    How about reading these articles I've posted, and others have posted in the past, on your thread - convenient! - and then get back to us?

  • paulns
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    One could just keep posting like this indefinitely. Tempting.

  • gonebananas_gw
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Does anyone really care that some traces of headache medicine and hormones and antibiotics go into their compost or organic fertilizer? It seems a more desirable fate than into the river with aquatic organisms. If so, would they avoid putting willow leaves, yams peels, and moldy cantaloups into the pile? Not me. One, they are traces. Two, they likely don't last long in that decomposing environment. Three, they likely are not taken up and translocated in the plants. Four, it wouldn't matter if they were, they are traces.

  • whip1 Zone 5 NE Ohio
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Paulns, If your not careful, you're going to be labeled a zealot, and be scolded for not offering any proof.

    Gonebananas, I'm not overly concerned about a little Ibuprofen, but a lot of the more powerful drugs, and other chemicals do concern me. In that regard, the Virginian and I are very similiar. He wants proof to show that they're harmful. I want proof that shows me they're not.

  • tsugajunkie z5 SE WI ♱
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    For the record, Milorganite is not composted, it is heated to remove pathogens, but not composted. If it were composted, it might break down some of the these suspicious compounds and be less suspect. What I put in my compost and what a large metropolitan area puts down their drain (much worse than ibuprofen) are vastly different animals. And there is a whole lot not tested for, looked for, or that has regulations for-but that doesn't mean its ok.

    I know what goes in my compost.

    tj

  • zeuspaul
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I wonder how many people are using sludge and don't know it. Are there any laws requiring labeling of sludge?

    I have been trying to find out which Kellogg garden products contain sludge. The only product I have found labeled as such is Nitrohumus. It lists biosolids as an ingredient on the bag. As far as I know it is all sludge but you sure can't find out at the Kellogg garden site. The bag says to check their site for heavy metal content but I can't find it anywhere! I can't find a reference to sludge or biosolids anywhere on their site!

    I have been using one of their products which lists forest products, kelp, bat guano and a few other nice sounding ingredients and no mention of biosolids or anything that could be interpreted as such. It smells a lot like Nitrohumus and Milorganite.

    A little Internet searching...according to one source linked below seven of eight Kellogg products contain biosolids.

    quoted material
    *****This market involves using compost and dried products in retail blending and bagging operations. The benefits of using organic residuals, such as compost and dried products, to amend soils and improve growth of gardens and crops are numerous and well documented.

    In the southern California marketplace, four suppliers dominate sales at the retail level: Kellogg Garden Products, Scotts Hyponex, Western Organics, and Whitney Farms. The products are sold as topsoil or soil amendments. A total of eleven compost product manufacturers and suppliers are known to be operating in the local retail marketplace. Several of these manufacturers supply products to K-Mart, Target, and Wal-Mart for their in-house brands. Of these manufacturers, three firms, Kellogg Garden Products, Western Organics, and Scotts Hyponex, utilize biosolids in their product formulations.

    The biosolids portion of the southern California marketplace appears to be dominated by Kellogg Garden Products. Of the eight different products marketed by Kellogg, seven contain digested, composted biosolids. In the case of Scotts Hyponex, fifteen different products were available but only one product contains digested, composted biosolids. A significant portion of the biosolids used by Kellogg and Scotts Hyponex is obtained from EKO at IEUAs existing compost manufacturing facility. It was not possible to determine the relative quantities of biosolids-based compost moving through the distribution chain of these two companies. This remains proprietary information. These firms expressed a desire to partner with biosolids generators to acquire additional compost material.*********

  • berman
    10 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Patrick: When I tried to identify some plants to use for some casual bioremediation, the literature I searched indicated that few plants uptake lead systemically, rather that dust and rain splatters deposit on the surface of the plant. Proper cleaning of food plants was found to be more important than lead content of the soil, in the studies done of urban gardens with contaminated soil. Persistent contaminants, however, give me pause about using a biosolids product on my property because I tend to make a salad after weeding my lawn.

  • KarenPA_6b
    5 years ago

    Here's an interview with an EPA insider and whistleblower regarding biosolids.

    https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/11/01/biosolids-fertilizer.aspx

  • HU-375070863
    last year

    Talk about Miloganite...

    What are PFAS?

    PFAS, known as "forever chemicals" are per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances. They're a group of man-made chemicals used for their water- and stain-resistant qualities in products including clothing and carpet, nonstick cookware, packaging and firefighting foam.

    The chemicals are persistent, remaining both in the environment and human body over time. Accumulation of the chemicals in the body has been linked to cancer, studies have shown, or other adverse health effects