Environment, Health and Safety Online
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Question: "Are sewage solids and sludge being used as fertilizer?"
Answer: Of all the organic materials added to soil each year, a National Research Council study found few signs that land application of wastewater was causing disease or pollution. Large sanitary districts throughout the country apply biosolids to restored mines, forests, and agricultural lands. The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency says, "We have yet to receive one documented negative health case," but Michael Baram, a university professor, states that sewage sludge applicators have reported hepatitis B infections. Over the past 20 years effluent monitoring has demonstrated a reduction in both toxics and heavy metals. Although there are no documented health problems related to biosolids' use in food production, questions and concerns remain.
Click here for full story in Environmental Health Perspectives - the journal of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences