I received this email from United Sludge-free Alliance regarding an environmental issue. This is a major problem in Pennsylvania and I’m sure that it is showing up in other parts of the country.
Greeting All and some exciting news!
As we look at the issues of sewage sludge being used as
fertilizer on farm fields and sold to the public at garden
centers, an unsettling body of evidence points to the real
dangers that we are being exposed to. Every pathogen,
poison, and hazardous substance becomes condensed into the
sludge, which is then applied to the very soil and water
that sustains us. Berks county is the second most sludge in
PA – with Lancaster and York leading and following. With the
EPA’s support, this practice has grown to substantial use.
Sludge is not fertilizer – its toxic waste transfer. The
sludge issue is not a farm or environmental issue – it is a
health and food safety issue.
We have the opportunity to bring some excellent speakers
with first hand experience about the dangers of sludge to
Berks County. Murray McBride, of Cornell Waste Management
Institute, has agreed to speak about the incredible studies
that Cornell has done that find that sludge is indeed
hazardous to our health. Andy McElmurray, a farmer from
Augusta, Georgia has also agreed to speak to our community.
Andy’s story is eye-opening in the fact that, after years of
assured safety of sludge, his farm became so toxic he is
unable to grow crops. All his cows died. The lack of full
disclosure by the sludge companies is a lesson that Mr.
McElmurry and his neighbor Bill Boyce have agreed to share.
And after many years in court, a federal judge agreed that
sludge is, “a toxic substance” and awarded Mr. McElmurry
Here’s where you come in – do you have frequent flyer miles
in either Continental or Delta Airlines that you could
donate to fly Andy McElmurry and his neighbor Bill Boyce to
our area for the conference? Please contact me Pennsylvania for Change immediately if you can help. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We shall plan to move forward with our quest of the truth
about sludge and how it effects the health and safety of our
food, water, land and personal bodies. This is a huge
project and everyone’s involvement will be instrumental in
changing the policies that promote poisoning our very lives.
Contact Pennsylvania for Change (email@example.com) and I will forward your information to the spokesperson for United Sludge-Free Alliance.
If you really must know more, check out this site… http://www.ejnet.org/sludge/
on October 11, 2006 9:25 AM |
Originally published October 10 2006
(NewsTarget) According to research by Chad Kinney, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry at Eastern Washington University, fertilizer made from sewage sludge may be adding pharmaceuticals, flame retardants and other chemicals to the land.
Kinney’s research showed that no less than nine different biosolid products were produced by municipal wastewater treatment plants in seven different states — Washington, Arizona, Wisconsin, Kansas, Colorado, Texas and Iowa. These biosolid products were analyzed for 87 different organic wastewater contaminants, which represents a cross section of medicinal, industrial and household compounds.
These compounds are able to enter wastewater treatment plants and may be discharged without being completely metabolized or degraded — causing them to show up in the sludge that is then processed into certain garden and yard fertilizers. In fact, 55 of the contaminants were detected in at least one biosolid product sold as lawn and garden enhancements, and 25 compounds were found in every single one of the samples.
Kinney went on to say that “No matter what biosolid we looked at, there were some of these compounds in it.” His research was published in online edition of the journal Environmental Science and Technology. Kinney, who is a postdoctoral fellow at the United States Geological Survey (USGS), has the support of the USGS’s Toxic Substance Hydrology Program as well, who supports his research.
Government regulators and health officials say there is no immediate risk to public health; however, the study’s authors called for more research on the long-term impact on the environment. Thomas Burke — a professor of public health policy at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore — believes that Kinney’s research is a sobering reminder for the Environmental Protection Agency, which has promoted biosolids for decades because they contain the same nutrients found in fertilizers.