Tuesday, 29 August 2017

A note on "EQ - Class A Biosolids"

A note on "EQ" "Class A" "Biosolids"

From sludge industry player Lystek -

“In Class A biosolids, pathogens must be reduced to virtually non-detectable levels and the material must also comply with strict standards regarding metals, odours and vector attraction reduction (VAR) as specified in the US EPA, Part 503 Rule. VAR refers to processing which makes the biosolids less attractive to vectors, which have the potential for transmitting diseases directly to humans or can play a role in the life cycle of a pathogen, as a host. Examples of vectors are flies, mosquitoes, rodents, birds, etc. Various processes can be utilized to achieve Class A designation such as anaerobic digestion, lime stabilization, composting and thermal hydrolysis. This designation means the material meets U.S. EPA guidelines for land application with no restrictions. Thus, Class A biosolids can be legally used as fertilizer on farms, vegetable gardens, and can be sold to home owners as compost or fertilizer. The term Class A EQ (Exceptional Quality) is used to describe a biosolids product that not only meet, but exceed, all Class A pathogen reduction metals and VAR requirements.”  (http://lystek.com/what-are-class-a-class-b-biosolids/)

“EQ, Class A, and Biosolids” – these are not scientific terms – they are PR terms cooked up to generate sales. They are simply “putting lipstick on a pig”!  -- A very toxic pig at that.

Note that only 10 metals and pathogens are tested for to qualify as "EQ" (along with odour and vector reduction). There are thousands of toxins in sewer sludge aka “biosolids” – and here are just a few of them (none tested for) that may be found in your so-called “EQ” compost - dioxins ,acetone, anthracene, barium, beryllium, carbon disulfide, 4-chloroaniline, diazinon, fluoranthene, manganese, methyl ethyl ketone, nitrate, nitrite, phenol, pyrene and silver. Worrying too is that prions, microplastics, fire retardants, hormones and synthetic hormones, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and plasticizers may all be found in biosolids of ALL classes.

Safety testing, by biosolids scientists, looks merely at single chemical toxicity amounts. This is faulty, simplistic, and outdated. As the scientists taking part in the Halifax Project have shown, it is the exposure to a variety of toxins in low-dose that can cause cancer. (The Halifax Project took place between 2012 and 2015 and it involved more than 350 cancer researchers and physicians from 31 countries …  focused on the carcinogenic potential of low dose exposures to mixtures of chemicals in the environment) See this link for more on their findings -  http://www.gettingtoknowcancer.org/index.php

The use of sewer sludge / “biosolids” in farming or home gardening means exposing people to a myriad of potentially dangerous toxins. The precautionary principle must apply!

The minimal "processing" done to the sludge - be it adding lime, or woodchips, and composting it - anaerobic or aerobic digestion, pelletizing it, or liquifying it - all of these are superficial treatments. The problematic constituents within this matrix of pollutants remains primarily the same. As numerous studies, including those of the US Geological Survey, have shown - thousands of chemicals remain in these so-called "biosolids" … 

 Microplastics? - Still present - ( https://bit.ly/2Sngwd2 "43% of microplastics that go down the drain eventually end up applied to agricultural land as biosolids." ) Nanomaterials? -Still present - (Uptake of Nanomaterials see - https://rsc.li/2WfDdCA ). Endocrine disruptors like flame retardants? - Still present - (The U.S. Geological Survey scientists confirmed that rainfall mobilized chemicals (including detergents, fire retardants, plasticizers, and antibacterials) from municipal biosolids-amended agricultural fields, directly to runoff. Most (14 of 17) of the chemicals examined were present in edge-of-the-field runoff and not depleted in concentration after three 100-year rainfall events For more on this see - https://on.doi.gov/2Eisa4M ). Prions? - Still present - ( "if prions were to enter municipal wastewater treatment systems, most of the agent would partition to activated sludge solids, survive mesophilic anaerobic digestion, and be present in treated biosolids.'' see - https://bit.ly/2GznGZJ ) In fact some  problems like superbugs - antimicrobials, may even get worse through these processes (Antibiotic residues and antibiotic-resistant bacteria - https://bit.ly/2KM7xj5 - "spreading of sewage sludge leads to a significant increase of ARG in the soil" )

To see this sludge then as a "soil amendment" is to make an absurd leap - both in logic and in language! The purveyors of this sludge, those in the biosolids business, have "greenwashed" the language, BUT there is simply no way that present-day science can "wash" away these thousands of chemicals. It is a waste product rich in pollutants. 

For more insight into these issues from arm’s length scientists please see  -

"Polluting for Profit"-The "Biosolids" Business  https://bit.ly/2DKNpff
Biosolids dangers- bit.ly/2EuAP3K
USA Scientists- https://bit.ly/2VRnush
UK Scientists - https://bit.ly/2noyE7s
Canadian Scientists- http://bit.ly/1sb2qOP
The Guardian- https://bit.ly/2LPWNSM

For more on “biosolids” being used in compost for gardening, please see –

 Gardening with Toxic #biosolids =