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Biosolids in the Garden?

Posted by mlamorea 8b (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 14, 12 at 15:42

We're doing a major garden overhaul right now in preparation for spring planting and we want to incorporate some compost from the local landfill in to improve our soil. It does contain biosolids (human waste broken down and treated). I'm a bit concerned, however.

I asked the lady at the landfill if it was safe for vegetable garden use and she said it was .... but then she went on to say that we should always wash our hands after working in it and that we should not allow pets or children into where it is.

WHAT?! I can eat the food that its used to produce but I can't let the kids touch it!? I don't get it.

So my question to you all is if anyone knows or has read anything about the safety of using it with crops. I tried doing research but couldn't find anything real scholarly,

Thanks a bunch!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

All soils can contain disese pathogens, or other things you would not want to ingest, hence the suggestion that hands should be washed after working in the garden, but so should any food grown in that garden.
Like any other manure, biosolids from humans can have many disease pathogens. Whether they are active depends on many factors including but not limited to how hot the material got while composting and the length of time the material was composted. Another factor limiting your exposure is how long has this material been on, or in, the soil. A general recommendation about applying manures, human or animal, to gardens is that they should not be applied sooner then 90 days before harvest for above ground crops or 120 days for root crops.


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

Thank you! All of that information was helpful - especially the 90 day and 120 day wait.


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

  • Posted by pt03 2b Southern Manitob (My Page) on
    Sun, Jan 15, 12 at 14:58

Be wary of seemingly authoritative information on public forums, NOP specifically prohibits the use of sewage sludge (biosolids).

"(e) The producer must not use:

(1) Any fertilizer or composted plant and animal material that contains a synthetic substance not included on the National List of synthetic substances allowed for use in organic crop production;

(2) Sewage sludge (biosolids) as defined in 40 CFR part 503;"

Of course one can pretty well do what one wishes on their own property.

Lloyd

Here is a link that might be useful: 205.203 Soil fertility and crop nutrient management practice standard.


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

I say if you can't touch the soil without a high risk of getting a deadly pathogen, then I'd avoid it. I know some people like biosolids, but I wouldn't put it anywhere near my edibles.


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

that material from the land fill can contain much stuff, in the sewerage waste is hospital and low grade industrial waste, i've seen old cca treated landscape timber in the heaps waiting to be chipped and composted, also seen industrial liquid waste trucks unloading their load and it being mixed into the pile that is being composted.

the epa apparently tests it regularly for levels of toxins, but no one knows how high the bar is on those levels.

this material also seems to be the base for potting mixes.

do i use it? yep when i have to.

len

Here is a link that might be useful: lens garden page


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

Len, a couple of thoughts:

>>in the sewerage waste is hospital and low grade industrial waste,

I assume the sludge contains stuff from everyone hooked up to the sewer!

>> i've seen old cca treated landscape timber in the heaps waiting to be chipped and composted,

THAT would clearly be against the rules most everywhere. Our city chips yard waste for mulch and compost, and they prohibit dumping treated lumber at the mulch sites. People do it anyway, and they have to pick the stuff out and landfill it. We can hope they actually do that. :-]

>>also seen industrial liquid waste trucks unloading their load and it being mixed into the pile that is being composted.

That's a vague term, I'm trying to figure out what this would be. I don't think it would be legal to take untreated waste (i.e. sewage) and compost it like that. Now if a dairy or some other facility had its own sewage treatment (or pretreatment) plant and created sludge from that, maybe they could, but it should not be different from municipal sludge. The point is they can't put hazardous waste or untreated wastewater into a compost pile.


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

Bacteria are stressed or injuried during composting and may reactivate up to a year later. This puts those who use sludge compost in a terrible position of contaminating their gardens with high levels of E. coli, Citrobacter, Salmonella, Klebsiella, Enterobacter and other dangerous pathogens. While they tell gardeners that sludge is safe based on a fecal coliform test, they either don't know what the term fecal coliform means or will not tell the gardeners that the term actually means mutant thermotolerant strains of E. coli, Citrobacter, Salmonella, Klebsiella, Enterobacter. Our farm was destroyed by just the runoff from Kansas City, Missouri's sludge farm. See the soil test. Soil Test Report Comparison Between Fecal Coliform vs pathogenic Salmonella - E. coli - Strep
http://thewatchers.us/pathogens/test-comparison.html

Here is a link that might be useful: Composted Sewage Sludge (biosolids) is a Safe and Sustainable Organic Soil Amendment!


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

toxcrusader,

anyone might add vagaries, but yes you me hospitals all put their waste down the sewerage. no good intimating australia might be the only place we follow practices from across the pacific.

of course grinding up some cca is against the rules but it happens i've seen the piles of various stuff with cca logs sticking out of them waiting to be ground up, i can only say what i see. it would be naive to trust any gov' these days.

what's vague about liquid waste?? sewerage wasn't mentioned in this context we have already dealt with the sewerage side of things. liquid waste is just that liquid waste from industry of all sorts manufacturing, food preparation you name it, they deem some of it to be medium grade and mix it in.

disposing of liquid waste these days a big issue, opportunity for for local gov' to get remuneration to dispose of someone else's waste (all happens in teh wee hours of the night), our state sends the worst of this waste 1kilometers to pay and have it burn in a very expensive incinerator (understandably our state does not want to buy one) this all travels south through townships and across rivers and stream along side the highway at night in old black tanker carriages.

now i am not so naive to think this train comers back empty, my reckoning is our state takes some of the southern states medium and less grade liquid waste to offset costs.

my point is whatever we do we must do using common sense, i have used this material as there was nothing else.

we need to be thinking latterly come out of our comfort zones, then we learn. at the end of the day many like me are only messengers.

if you trust them ask them, for me i look behind the scene on the tv or read between the lines.

like when they do a housing estate here they scrape about 1 meter of top soil off the top then truck in about another meter or so of fill soil that has all sorts of wastes added, they call it acid soil and have it logged on maps so they know where it is.

so yes one day they could come along (the US has some very restrictive controls on gardeners)test your soil and stop you growing food plants or maybe even worse than that let the mind think.

i'm no ones enemy, i will never believe it only happens in australia, when our communities have all the same issues

take care

len


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

len: Forgot you were in Aus., so we may have different regulations.

That said, under the US Clean Water Act, I do not think a city or industry would be allowed to take untreated wastewater or sewage of any kind and add it to a compost pile for purposes of treatment or disposal. Someone please correct me if they know of actual cases. Municipalities have govt. permits to treat wastewater and discharge the treated water, and the input and especially output points of this process are rigidly controlled. Even the sludge from the sewage plant that is composted has to meet certain requirements (lax though they may be) prior to composting (or land applying).

I agree it is not always done according to the rules, whether you're talking about wastewater or treated lumber at the mulch site. But there's an incentive for compliance - at least in the US, millions in fines are levied every year by the states and fed. govt. when violations are found by private industry as well as public utilities.


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

nope no different regulations still the same EPA regulations (world gov')both sides of the pacific. yep industrial low grade(their standard) liquid waste has to go somewhere so into the mulch hey? what trucks don't collect goes into the sewerage simple.

they aren't discharging it they are mixing it into composting solids.

over here and over there sewerage water is filtered and added back into drinking water.

the local gov' can do what they like under the cover of darkness. the EPA make the rules and the local gov' follow them.

not sludge that comes from the sewerage farm to the municipal mulch heap it is somewhat composted humus, this mulching is an ideal way for local gov's to dispose of their own industrial liquid waste and offset other costs by buying it in from other communities who are over run with it.

we need to get our eye's and ears wide open these days, if none of this is happening where you are then you are very lucky indeed, and if you have no industry at all ie.,. food preparation and processing engineering whatever then you may have a utopia.

you already imply sewerage regulations are lax.

take care hey have a nice day

len


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

We have class A biolsolids in pellet form from a local sewage treatment plant and the "major industries" in my area are vinyards, breweries and resturants, so the levels of metals etc is far below EPA and even state regulations. The product we use here is hot heat dried and free of pathogens and we use it everywhere in the yard including on veggies that are healthy and taste great. Our lawn is a deep dark green and has the most green showing compared to the neighbors who use synthetic fertilizers. Let me put it this way, I would rather use biosolds fertilizer than use the salt and sythetic based chemical fertilizers as they pose more risk to me and the enironment than what we flush down the toliet.


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

I have thought about biosolids a bit over the past year because I have a local water treatment plant down the street that gives it away. I am fairly convinced, though not totally, that the biological aspects of this stuff is sound. It probably is not too much of a risk in that regard. My main concern is the other chemicals that are in there. People dump all sorts of things down the drains that cannot be good for you. Pharmaceuticals, cleaners, paint thinners, paint, glues, pesticides etc. Where does that stuff all go? They can't really take it all out. On the pharmaceuticals front alone its worth avoiding. Really, most pharmaceuticals pass right through people into their urine and it does not just go away through some composting process. I don't want that stuff in my garden and in my food.


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

The sewage from most of the densely populated areas around here is sent out to a treatment plant where the solidsd are seperated from the water which is then sprayed, as irrigation water, on crop land. Periodically the settling ponds are cleaned out and the bio solids are also spread on the farm fields. Some places the sewage is dewatered, put into a closed digester (bio composter) and used to manufacture methane gas which is used to generate some power or maybe some heat. What is left, the solids, are removed and used to fertilize farm fields.
There are even some places that are doing similar things with solid waste, the garbage from your household, because we are running out of land to pile that stuff up.
This past summer, once again, we had hospital waste wash up on the beach, waste material tracked to Wisconsin, apparently because someone improperly disposed of it. That can happen, that will happen as long as you have people that want to keep more of the money they are paid and look for ways to do that.
So are bio solids inherently unsafe and something that should not be used? No, but care must be exercised in using bio solids, just as care in the use of animal manures must be exercised.


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

The US is one of the most wasteful countries in the world.
Personally I applaud those that use bio solids.
I think the people that find reasons not to use it really have some sort of thing in the brain that think it is somehow nasty or something and look for reasons not to.
I also believe that some of the researchers are just trying to justify their existence.

Here is a link that might be useful: Researching Plant Uptake


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

novascapes: interesting link, and I agree, contaminants present in the original organic matter which is then composted or digested will be incorporated into the humus matrix differently from the same chemicals spritzed on after the fact. Bioavailability does not = total amount present.

Regarding researchers, after all that is human nature. Who doesn't? Does anyone become an expert at something and then *not* look around for ways to keep doing it? There are, of course, philosophical decisions as one moves through life - I switched directions myself. But it is human nature so you can't just blame researchers any more than billboard designers for doing what they are good at.


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

the whole thing is knowledge, just don't use a product because someone says it's safe, there will be no independent testing available, all testing has to be paid for so who pays wins sort of. the only testing is at the behest of those who administrate it, so they move the goal posts or bar as they desire, then how in depth is the testing?

checking say just for pathogens is easy, but that is not the total answer, of the end product. for me hospital waste washed up on a beach would indicate a break down in a local sewerage system, can't imagine hospital workers taking a load of waste home and dumping it along the way. these systems are human made with human made safeguards and they fail, and mostly are never reported.

it is preferable if the waste water is used for irrigation, but that is not again always so, many communities get that water back in their drinking water supply.

i've used the product, sparingly. and as it is the base for all brands of potting mix i have no choice when i buy potting mix.

be better for our food growing if these solids then went to farms but over here, the farms are too far away for that to happen, here it gets used in public gardens and given to unsuspecting gardeners.

usually private companies are in control the gov' requirement for them is self determination, they test to be able to supply a report to the gov', who won't be doing any even random testing. that is why for many over here when recycling sewer water back into the drinking system raised red flags. the private operator will over time move the goal posts to help cut operating costs.

len


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

I would not use that, no way. What if someone flushed something awful down the toilet like waste from making crystal meth? There could be anything in there and you have no idea what it could be.


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

If it were just poo treated waste from really healthy people, it might be ok, but...heavy metals, antibiotics [anti life], drugs?


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

Did you know some people won't drink tap water because they know for example people take drugs such as hormones or other medications and they pee them out into the water system. This water is treated and then recycled back into water that comes to us and tap water. So, therefore this compost would have an even greater percentage of those drugs in the compost then even the tap water. I don't know if this is true or not, if there are drugs in the water, but there could be so I don't drink tap water either. So, then you use the compost and the drugs move from the soil into your carrots. You eat the carrots, the drugs move into you in micro amounts, but over time micro amounts are build up to become macro amounts. Maybe I am all wrong about this? I just don't know.


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

I keep thinking that this is one of those things that say 20-30 years from now some folks will show a lot of adverse affects. Then it will come out that in the testing they overlooked something or missed testing for some chemical only to find out that it had contaminants. Or that the levels they thought were safe really were'nt I could give you example after example of things like that. One example, DDT. Another, right now the world is all about florescent light bulbs but those things contain mercury and it will end up somewhere its not wanted by going to the landfill. How bout saccharine? Fen Fen any one? Lead paint? The list goes on. There is just too many substances in sewage, and not all of it breaks down in compost. That’s just a fact. It might be in low levels, but you don't know and there just is not enough chemical tests to detect all the possible contaminants. Even if there were tests developed it would be prohibitively expensive to test for all of them. Are you willing to let the government tell you what level of carcinogen is safe? Another example, do you trust the government's guidelines on how much mercury contaminated fish you can consume safely? The truth is that they don't really know. Keep that stuff out of me. The question is how much risk are you willing to take to incorporate it into your garden.


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

"The question is how much risk are you willing to take to incorporate it into your garden."

The risk is greater just taking a breath of air in the city.


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

There are a lot of people that will not drink tap water under the mistaken notion that there might be "bad stuff" in that water but they will drink bottled water much of which comes from the same sources. Way back in the olden days when I was a Boy Csout we were taught to boil, or add these water purification tablets, to any water we were goin to drink because of possible contamination. "Pure Mountain" water does not exist because there are animals out there that do things in that water that few people think about.
Your municipal water source is probably your safest source of drinking water there is. However, since earth is a closed system what we dump along with our water often will be there forever. Do you use antibacterial soaps which traverse through the waste system and kill off the bacteria in that waste system requiring some waste management systmes to have to add bacteria to the solids so they can be digested?
Keep in mind that the water we have now was here at the beginning and is all we will have until the end.


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

in days now gone our water was much safer than now, what comes down the pipes and out of the taps is really an un-known quantity, and those who know aren't saying. for me drinking chlorine and fluoride laced water is equally as bad as drinking recycled sewer water.

and in most cases bottled water has been taken from the system deoderised and made tasteless then sold expensively.

what ends up in the sewer systems: hospital waste(notably chemo' therapy waste), low grade industrial waste and acids etc.,. then that is all sort of composted and returned as humus to be blended into the stuff they create at the refuse station and the basis for potting mixes.

i saw a feature once said boiling is not the answer as some bacteria's are not destroyed and can multiply there after.

give me our tank water any day.

agree the water we have was here in the beginning but has been somewhat mismanaged by those we put in power, all for profits sake. can only hope goodness and mercy soon follow.

len


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

In days gone by very common were diseases such as cholera, now a problem only where sewage is exposed. I've not seen a list of disease pathogens that cannot be killed by boiling water. That 100 C or 212 F temperature does in most all I am aware.
Water has been mismanaged by all of us, not just the powers that be. We have misused and abused our water from the start and every bit of the water we consume has been recycled several times since the beginning.


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

i find it unwise to blame the common man kimmsr,

we are the lowest common denominator and should not take on the faults of those higher up, so to blame us makes us the problem.

BSE for one cannot be neutralised no matter how hot and along with it CJD and sheep scrappies. we have people dying from CJD they record it as ulzheimer related, the pathology departments are calling for disposable instruments so that none of their steralised instruments can accidentally end up in the operating theaters.

len


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

What have you put down your waste drains and toilet, Len? Medicines? Antibactierial soap? Other things that probablky shouyld not have been put down there?
Failure by those that cause the problem to accept responsibility is a large part of the problem and like Pogo said years ago, "We have met the enemy and he is us."
We are the problem, Len.


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

Tropical, do you know where your tap water comes from? Is it groundwater, river water, lake water...? Have you looked at the results of the latest mandatory testing that your water provider is required to do and share? If you haven't you're just worrying with no facts.

Emerging issues aside, drinking water in the US is safer now than it has ever been throughout human history.

The fact that we can - and do - monitor drinking water quality (required by law) as well as research and care about things like trace amounts of drugs makes me a lot more confident. You think industry would study trace drugs in sewage effluent? It's the government that pushes that on your behalf.

I don't know where these emerging issues will end up, but I'll tell you one thing, I feel way better letting the gov't as a neutral party decide what is safe, than leaving it in the hands of private water companies and the chemical industry. Gov't may be flawed but some of you folks don't realize how things could be if it wasn't there.


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

kimmsr,

still not the little mans fault, this sort of talk will only strengthen their resolve to make us the scape goats. compared to what hospitals and light industry put down there our contribution is trite.

and in the end we have little choice what goes there from washing bodies and clothes, brushing teeth medications that they make to keep us alive, as the system will not embrace natural medications.

when i see a plumber pour a litre of acid down a drain to unblock it, he does that once nothing i do as a matter of course could ever equal that.

we do nothing deliberate.

so what do you do you never take medications, you don't wash you or your clothes, all your second hand water goes to your gardens or lawn you put nothing but solids down the toilet then push the button.

someone relies on the gov' to make sure things are safe, well not anymore all things water included are run by private co's and self regulating. the gov' regulated to allow hospital and light industrial waste to go down the sewerage.

we need to stand together

len


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

I agree with some of your points len but not all.

I disagree that people do not deliberately dump stuff down the drain. The crap that I have seen homeowners flush down the drain - paint thinner, battery acid, pesticides, etc. - that's what we have control over. Some people still think it's OK to pour used motor oil down the storm drain. I'm not trying to say industry has no responsibility and doesn't discharge anything it shouldn't, but on an average day I have more influence over my friends and neighbors than corporations.

And industry is not self-regulated. In my town the City runs the sewage plant and has a permit from the state to do so. Anyone discharging to the sewer must meet certain requirements - including ppm limits on toxic contaminants. Whether they do or not is, I agree, mostly up to them. So in a sense it is self-policing, but not self-regulated, because there *are* rules. You make it sound a little too much like the Clean Water Act has gone away.


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

If we do not accept part of the responsibility for being part of the problem then our behavior will not change and we will be polluting our water even more. The first part of solving a problem is recognizing whom is responsible for that problem. Simply stating that the "powers that be" must solve our problems is not going to do it, unless we demand they cease their petty bickering and get to work doing what needs to be done.
Many years ago the "powers that be" determined that injecting some wastewater deep into the soil was a good thing. Today that wastewater is coming back to the surface and will require very long term (they think 400 years) of filtering to get all of the bad stuff out of that water. And today we are allowing people to do the same thing, because it would cost that company too much to clean up the water thet are polluting.
People that live around were "fractionating" is being done are finding their wells polluted, but it is not the "fractionating" that is doing that.


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

but kimmsr my friend,

me and my wife have changed our habits a very long time ago we both use between 30 and 50 litres a day total we run 25% under that average power use in our neighbourhood. we flush only solids but it has changed nothing we still get charged the same though we could get away with a monthly garbage collection. where we are now we may never sue teh dump or maybe once or twice a year but we get charged a dump levy to keep it open for all those trailer loads of rubbish that those who don't consider recycling take there.

so lets not help the gov' make the little people scapegoats, when they encourage water wastage with daily allowances of around 200 litres of water per day per person, so clearly it is the upper echelon to blame not some poor little person or pensioner.

we are about to get slugged with a carbon tax industry run by the gov' yet we are still to mine coal full on and sell it to nations who care less about this hypothetical (CO2 after all is heavier than air so how it gets in to that atmosphere i dunno, i reckon they are leading to a methane tax or in short and oxygen tax)factor.

no in the world of cause and effect the little people are an effect, those who pull strings are the cause.

we deserve affordable power as much as the next nation, next progression here is nuclear power in their push to make power costs artificially high, to make renewable's look more expensive, even now more and more cannot afford power or water and harder for food, so they buy cheaper imported food which shuts our own farms down.

so blaming the little people is making it worse.

keep in mind if someone is a gambler. alcoholic shopaholic any of those 'ism's the 'ism is not the cause it is the effect the cause must be found to relieve those people problems.

we are pensioners on a limited income and life is getting very difficult though we worked all our lives paid high taxes, the gov' cannot now look after us our health system here is chaotic.

take care, time for lateral thinking outside the box.

len


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

I would say that the US could not be much beside a second world country with the regulations now.....so we ship out the manufacturing [not so much the assembly but the raw production, processing, and forming of heavier metals] as they are almost impossible to produce with no pollution.

These are the good ole days,


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

"I would say that the US could not be much beside a second world country with the regulations now.....so we ship out the manufacturing [not so much the assembly but the raw production, processing, and forming of heavier metals] as they are almost impossible to produce with no pollution.
These are the good ole days,"

Then we buy back the veggeies produced in these countries and eat them.


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

Bottom line, nobody has ever gotten contaminated, died or grown female or male parts from using class A biosolids. Many people make claims with class B biosolids, but there has yet to be a case where there has been a link to biosolids that have been used properly even with this less refined type of biosolids.


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

There has not been a direct link made, yet, to genetic changes in people or even lower IQs due to exposure to some of the organophosphate poisons used, but many of the hospitals (usually university connected) have seen evidence of that in migrant workers, and their children, to raise concerns.
Since there is a potential for harm from many things we use daily the use of the Precautionary Principle says we should not allow those outside the laboratory until those are shown to be absolutely safe.
Len, I am glad that you have changed your life style and no longer contribute to the destruction of our world, but there are many of your "common man" out there that have not done so and still send down the sewer stuff they should not. Until you, and I, convince them that what htey are doing is wrong and get them to change their ways we are part of the problem, "common man" or not.


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

Kevinitis, Tropical and GardenLen,

I don't know how to say this without causing offense. I mean this in the nicest possible way. I hear a lot of fear in your statements. Knowledge is the antidote to fear. I urge you to read the science and become knowledgable and I think then you will worry less. Or possibly you will worry more about different things. If your main source of information on what to worry about is the major media then what you are getting is not based in science it is based in selling newspapers and scary headlines sell more papers.

I would argue that the biggest route for exposure to toxins is not going to be the composted municipal sewage sludge on the garden.

Nancy


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

Nancy - it isn't a question of the "biggest route to exposure." The problem is that our technologically dependent lifestyles create multiple routes - it is, in fact,nearly impossible to protect oneself from the environmental degradation that is caused by others, or to avoid contributing to it. Every electronic device we use is the result of mining and manufacturing processes that create toxins, every commercial product involves some waste production. Using biosolids for food production is only adding to the load of toxins we are already absorbing from other sources. They could be put to better use, with less risk, for crops other than food. It may be a personal choice, but if you use your garden to feed other people, you deny them that choice, and continue to support a practice that is still unproven. I'll get my medications from a known source, not from my neighbors' waste water. I'm with Kevinitis on this one - we will probably not know how much harm we have done until it manifests in our children.

As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know.

Donald Rumsfeld


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

Nancybeetoo, I appreciate your concern for my position, but I am not motivated by fear in this subject. I have a BS and a master's degree in biology, and a minor in chemistry. I have researched this subject a little in the peer reviewed liturature, and I know what it says. Like I said in my first post, I think that biologically this product is probably safe to use in most cases, though they give warnings for a reason. I also understand that in treated waste there are small amounts of substances that are known to have toxic effects in people. Removing all of them is very difficult, expensive and maybe impossilble. A lot of toxic substances just don't break down in a compost pile. Besides, effects of low dose exposure to toxic substances is just not very well understood scientifically because its so difficult to get reliable results. The timeframes are just too long and you can't ethically do controlled experiments on people. Realistically, when it comes to toxicology, the experts are making their best guess as to how much is a safe dose. Its not like they have given people x parts per million of substance Y to show that it can be can be safely taken in that doseage without adverse effects. They certainly haven't studied the long term effects of that low dosage on people. Its even tough to do animal studies of that type because they have to have an animal that lives a long time and they have to have long term funding. Fankely they are taking their best guess when they set their EPA standards. Maybe people respond the same way as animal testing, maybe not. There are all sorts of example, after the fact, that shows adverse affects to people to something the experts thought was safe. Just say'in....


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

You know what, just read the abstract posted below

Here is a link that might be useful: Survey of contaminants in biosolids


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

It took one google scholar search (biosolids contaminants) and the reading of only a few abstracts to support my position. Enjoy another abstract as recent as 2004 on biosolids. Point, the methods they used to demonstrate that biosolids were safe were inadequete, which is more or less what I have been saying all along in this thread.

Here is a link that might be useful: organic contaminants of emerging concern in land-applied sewage sludge (biosolids)


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RE: Biosolids contaminants again?

It took one google scholar search (biosolids contaminants) and the reading of only a few abstracts to support my position. Enjoy another abstract as recent as 2004 on biosolids. Point, the methods they used to demonstrate that biosolids were safe were inadequete, which is more or less what I have been saying all along in this thread.

Here is a link that might be useful: organic contaminants of emerging concern in land-applied sewage sludge (biosolids)


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

nancy,

again you might also have misjudged me, you know what is said you can only judge others by your own merits.

i do not trust the science as they are there to lead away from the truth, using their own facts and speculation.

on tv doco'/news i have seen liquid waste truck dumping their product to be mixed into that recycle stuff along with the humus from the sewerage farms. over here and i ahve no doubts in the US as well where gov's need to deal with toxic waste they are very inventive and use science to support them in how they dispose of this stuff.

like one bloke observed at a new housing estate they came in with big scrapers took away about 1 meter of the top soil that was there then bought back fill and put back a meter or so soil on the top, we have a soil.cement recycle place here where all soil goes to and i have no doubts like what they do at the dump, they mix higher grade industrial waste into this soil then use it like i indicated earlier.

our liquid waste dumps are gone, we send the worst of ours to another state for incineration and no doubt as part of the deal take some of their lesser waste back. now i reckon it would be against the charter of science to go against supporting the gov' and any scientist who does get short shifted.

the gov' does little sampling instead relying on the industry to self regulate, and where the EPA does who sets the goal bar or posts? who might move those goals?

anyhow nothing we can do about it except accept the new status quo

take care come outside the box and comfort zone with eyes wide open and ear to the ground come out of that comfort zone. use lateral thinking.

we recently lived in a newish estate and the gov' had the land listed that acid sulphate land that can occur in nature, but this was all solid fill land as i mentioned above.

len


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more: RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

kevin,

can you please supply that PDF in a web page link?

also finding the earlier link very slow to open.

thank you

len


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RE: Biosolids in the Garden?

Having concern to get funding to continue to study a so called problem that is decades old, with no concrete scientific evidence that the EPA biosolids 503 regulations are not safe is just that...inject doubt and undue fear to further a crusade of somekind. The facts are that there are not any cases of illness linked to properly applied class A biosolids. An article that expresses concern does not offer evidence. I guess they should be concerned with Strontium 73 and Cesium 90 being in the sewage in ultra trace levels that could cause harm....give me a break, mom flushing comet down the toliet does not make biosolids any more harmful than someone with AIDS spitting blood up in the sink. Show me the evidence and the cases that are linked to biosolids, not alarmist speculation.


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