Monday, February 8, 2010

Organic Consumer Alert: Toxic Sewage Sludge

#211, February 4, 2010
Health, Justice and Sustainability News from the Organic Consumers Association

Edited by Alexis Baden-Mayer and Ronnie Cummins

The People Who Want You to Believe Toxic Sludge Is Good for You

OCA staff members went undercover to a meeting of San Francisco Public Utilities Commission employees and the toxic sludge industry last week. We figured, in such a green city, that SFPUC employees would keep an arms length distance from for-profit sludge companies like Synagro that make their money dumping city sludge on rural lands.

However, SFPUC, Synagro and CASA, the state lobbying group for all of California's city sewer commissions, are mounting a coordinated effort to salvage the business-as-usual practice of flushing household and industrial waste away with clean water and then contaminating farmland with toxic sludge leftover when the water is removed. They see San Francisco's sludge giveaway program as an essential component of their national campaign to build public acceptance for the disposal of toxic sewage sludge on yards, gardens and farms. They will fight any effort to shut the program down, and specifically named OCA allies the Center for Food Safety and RILES, who filed a legal petition with the San Francisco to stop the sludge giveaway, as enemies of their campaign.

The scary thing is, this public-private trifecta is well-resourced and unscrupulous. The Synagro rep boasted of earning the support of a local university for a toxic sludge project by promising a $25,000 yearly donation. The CASA rep talked about using "congressional funny money" to fund studies that would provide science that backed-up the industry. And, the SFPUC rep, the public employee, stood by them smiling and nodding as they applauded her for not backing down in the face of public opposition to the contamination of San Francisco's green space with toxic sludge.

Read more about toxic sewage here:

Take Action:

Toxic Sludge makes people sick

The following is excerpted from first-person accounts posted to Sludge News:

"Our government says it’s safe, my body says its not. The sludge trucks are coming now in 2009. Class B sludge, no less. After moving into my new home in 2008, having no idea that sludge is surrounding my home. To the northwest of my home 1/2 mile farmer gets sludge in some kind of holding tanks that stinks like something truly UNGODLY in the winter months when its, freezing outside, so you can imagine the summers here. To the east, less than a 1/4 mile from my home, 2 other big fields get sludged in summer months. BUT next to my home, 1240 TONS of CLASS B SLUDGE, that’s approx 54 tractor trailers started dumping on 8/4/2008.

So now I'm getting ready for the nosebleeds to start, the headaches are starting, I'm hoping I don't get paralysis and chest pains like last year. You can talk to anyone in government and it's not in their back yard, so they don't care. And most pass the buck...and say they have no control. Or its the law...well, laws are changed everyday in this country...I am really disgusted with the lack of ethics and political will of our so called leaders. No wonder some mid easterners refer to USA as infidels, we just spread our shit all over the planet."

Upload Your Testimony / Share Your Story

Do you have a sludge story you would like to tell the Senate committee investigating the practice of disposing of sewage sludge on farmland and on gardens? Upload your testimony and share your sludge story using the form below. It will be delivered to the EPW Committee in Washington, DC. Please note this will be a public document.

Here is the link for your testimony:

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Blogger hshields said...

The US EPA and waste industry are promoting the landspreading of Class B sewage sludge containing infectious human and animal prions on grazing lands, hay fields, and dairy pastures. This puts livestock and wildlife at risk of infection. They ingest large quantities of dirt and top dressed sludge with their fodder.

Prion infected Class A sludge "biosolids" compost is spread in parks, playgrounds, home lawns, flower and vegetable gardens - putting humans, family pets, and children with their undeveloped immune systems and hand-to-mouth "eat dirt" behavior at risk. University of Wisconsin prion researchers, working with $100,000 EPA grant and a $5 million Dept. of Defense grant, have found that prions become 680 times more infectious in certain types of soil. Prions can survive for over 3 years in soils. And human prions are 100,000 times more difficult to inactivate than animal prions

Recently, researchers at UC Santa Cruz, and elsewhere, announced that Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is a prion disease. "Prion" = proteinaceous infectious particle which causes always fatal TSEs (Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies) in humans and animals including BSE (Mad Cow Disease), scrapie in sheep and goats, and Chronic Wasting Disease in deer, elk and moose. Human prion diseases are AD and CJD (Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease,) and other rarer maladies. Infectious prions have been found in human and animal muscle tissue including heart, saliva, blood, urine, feces and many other organs.

Alzheimer's rates are soaring as Babyboomers age - there are now over 5.3 million AD victims in US shedding infectious prions in their blood, urine and feces, into public sewers. This Alzheimer's epidemic has almost 500,000 new victims each year. No sewage treatment process inactivates prions - they are practically indestructible. The wastewater treatment process reconcentrates the infectious prions in the sewage sludge.

Quotes from Dr. Joel Pedersen, Univ. of Wisconsin, on his prion research:

Our results suggest that if prions were to enter municipal waste water treatment systems, most of the agent would partition to activated sludge solids, survive mesophilic anaerobic digestion, and be present in
treated biosolids. Land application of biosolids containing prions could represent a route for their unintentional introduction into the environment. Our results argue for excluding inputs of prions to municipal wastewater treatment."

"Prions could end up in wastewater treatment plants via slaughterhouse drains, hunted game cleaned in a sink, or humans with vCJD shedding prions in their urine or faeces, Pedersen says"
(Note - This UW research was conducted BEFORE UCSC scientists determined that Alzheimer's Disease is another prion disease which may be shedding infectious prions into public sewers and Class B and Class A sludge "biosolids.)

In Europe and increasingly, in the United States, sewage sludge "biosolids" is being used as a renewable resource to generate clean power and energy.

Helane Shields, PO Box 1133, Alton, NH 03809 603-875-3842

February 8, 2010 at 3:29 PM  
Blogger Sachin said...

Water treatment companies- Delhi/India based water treatment equipment manufacturer and supplier and provide water treatment, wastewater treatment, effluent treatment plant, wastewater treatment plant.

June 11, 2010 at 5:46 AM  

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