Study Shows Using Fertilizer Made from Sludge Can Bring Forever Chemicals Into the Home

A report issued May 25 by the Michigan Ecology Center and the Sierra Club should make gardeners who use “natural” fertilizers made from sewage sludge think twice.  The report details how sludge can contain PFAs — forever chemicals that persist in the environment for decades.

In most places industries are allowed to flush PFAS-containing waste into wastewater drains that flow to treatment plants. The chemicals are not removed during sewage treatment and instead settle in solid materials that are separated out from liquids in the treatment process.  Sludge is heated to remove biological pathogens but the PFAs are not affected by heating.

PFAS and related chemicals in sewage sludge could jeopardize the safety of the commercial food supply and home gardens. The report details tests done on nine different brands of natural fertilizer, including the popular Milorganite.  The tests reveal that gardeners can unwittingly bring PFAS contaminants home when they buy fertilizer that is made from sludge-biosolids. Eight of the tested products contained two chemicals — PFOS and PFOA — in amounts exceeding the screening limit created by the State of Maine.

Read the Report at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lzGlG1lY0wqTr9Ss40ypMbcuqLKSY7vp/view