Let them eat sludge, instead. (1 Viewer)

DavidM

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And we wonder what fuels distrust and spawns conspiracy theories...


Sludge tested as lead-poisoning fix

By JOHN HEILPRIN and KEVIN S. VINEYS, Associated Press Writers
16 minutes ago


BALTIMORE - Scientists using federal grants spread fertilizer made from human and industrial wastes on yards in poor, black neighborhoods to test whether it might protect children from lead poisoning in the soil. Families were assured the sludge was safe and were never told about any harmful ingredients.

...

In a 1978 memo, the EPA said sludge "contains nutrients and organic matter which have considerable benefit for land and crops" despite the presence of "low levels of toxic substances."

But in the late 1990s the government began underwriting studies such as those in Baltimore and East St. Louis using poor neighborhoods as laboratories to make a case that sludge may also directly benefit human health.

Meanwhile, there has been a paucity of research into the possible harmful effects of heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, other chemicals and disease-causing microorganisms often found in sludge.


Sludge tested as lead-poisoning fix - Yahoo! News
 

Saintman2884

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Interesting article, Dave. I think a lot of the fertilizers used today are not exactly safe either, like crop dusting and in the past having toxins in your lawn mower. To be fair the feds did say that the sludge did contain some low level toxins so we do have at least some admission of that from the other side. the article also mentions that the testing is unclear on whether or not the sludge is really hazardous. It may be that but the Yahoo article I saw said that testing is still going on as of now to see if the stuff is hazardous.

This kind of reminds me of Asbestos siding used in homes in the 50's and 60's. People did not know what potential harm it could do back then but when later research came out, it pretty took a big fall from grace and the housing industry took a huge hit with it.
 

dtc

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Interesting article, Dave. I think a lot of the fertilizers used today are not exactly safe either, like crop dusting and in the past having toxins in your lawn mower. To be fair the feds did say that the sludge did contain some low level toxins so we do have at least some admission of that from the other side. the article also mentions that the testing is unclear on whether or not the sludge is really hazardous. It may be that but the Yahoo article I saw said that testing is still going on as of now to see if the stuff is hazardous.

This kind of reminds me of Asbestos siding used in homes in the 50's and 60's. People did not know what potential harm it could do back then but when later research came out, it pretty took a big fall from grace and the housing industry took a huge hit with it.

Anybody who eats the sludge in their yard, the asbestos shingles on their house or the chipping paint off their windows has a preexisting condition. Perhaps poison is the cure to their problem. Just sayin.
 

LSSpam

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Anybody who eats the sludge in their yard . . . has a preexisting condition.

Kids have been known to eat dirt in simpler times. Beyond which, that's precisely what this study set out to prevent anyways

The Baltimore study concluded that phosphate and iron in sludge can increase the ability of soil to trap more harmful metals including lead, cadmium and zinc. If a child eats the soil, this trapping can let all the material pass safely through a child's system.

. . .

"Though the lot will be closed off to the public, if people — particularly children — get some of the lead contaminated dirt in their mouths, the lead will just pass through their bodies and not be absorbed," the newsletter said. "Without this iron-phosphorus mix, lead poisoning would occur."

I don't think any reasonable person would draw a "conspiracy" from this.
 

MLU

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I have a glass of sludge with a bowl of frosted nuts and bolts every morning...
 

blackadder

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And we wonder what fuels distrust and spawns conspiracy theories...


Sludge tested as lead-poisoning fix

By JOHN HEILPRIN and KEVIN S. VINEYS, Associated Press Writers
16 minutes ago


BALTIMORE - Scientists using federal grants spread fertilizer made from human and industrial wastes on yards in poor, black neighborhoods to test whether it might protect children from lead poisoning in the soil. Families were assured the sludge was safe and were never told about any harmful ingredients.

...

In a 1978 memo, the EPA said sludge "contains nutrients and organic matter which have considerable benefit for land and crops" despite the presence of "low levels of toxic substances."

But in the late 1990s the government began underwriting studies such as those in Baltimore and East St. Louis using poor neighborhoods as laboratories to make a case that sludge may also directly benefit human health.

Meanwhile, there has been a paucity of research into the possible harmful effects of heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, other chemicals and disease-causing microorganisms often found in sludge.


Sludge tested as lead-poisoning fix - Yahoo! News

This compares to using unwitting soldiers in radiation and atomic weapons testing in the 50s and 60s, CIA testing hallucinagenic drugs on unwitting subjects, etc.

The question is, what else don't we know about what's been done?
 

saintkev

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This compares to using unwitting soldiers in radiation and atomic weapons testing in the 50s and 60s, CIA testing hallucinagenic drugs on unwitting subjects, etc.

The question is, what else don't we know about what's been done?


Eh, nothing else, just those 3 things and thats it.
 

Sabine

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And we wonder what fuels distrust and spawns conspiracy theories...

I don't think this is any big deal, but that won't keep some from making a big deal out of it.

This reminded of a story I read several years ago of a former barren field in Houston where sludge was spread. After a short while, tomato plants popped up all over the field. Apparently, the tomato seeds survived both the human digestion and sludge process, and turned a "wasteland" into a garden.
 

LSSpam

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This compares to using unwitting soldiers in radiation and atomic weapons testing in the 50s and 60s, CIA testing hallucinagenic drugs on unwitting subjects, etc.

No, it doesn't. Those things don't compare at all. They aren't even in the same universe.
 

blackadder

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No, it doesn't. Those things don't compare at all. They aren't even in the same universe.

Right.

Subjecting someone to toxic or damaging substances without their knowledge, or informing them of the risks.

Riiiight.

I think you've had too many of these:

Erowid LSD Vault : Blotter Art Examples

I'm sure you'd volunteer for some sludge testing on your yard.
 
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blackadder

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I don't think this is any big deal, but that won't keep some from making a big deal out of it.

This reminded of a story I read several years ago of a former barren field in Houston where sludge was spread. After a short while, tomato plants popped up all over the field. Apparently, the tomato seeds survived both the human digestion and sludge process, and turned a "wasteland" into a garden.

Yeah, they made a movie about someone who ingested those tomatoes.

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958)
 

LSSpam

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Right.

Subjecting someone to toxic or damaging substances without their knowledge, or informing them of the risks.

Riiiight.

On one hand you listed weapons testing intended specifically to harm/hamper the enemy..

On the other hand you have a poorly researched experiment whose core purpose is to make soil safer for those most exposed to the danger, namely poor.

Not, even, close
 

blackadder

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On one hand you listed weapons testing intended specifically to harm/hamper the enemy..

On the other hand you have a poorly researched experiment whose core purpose is to make soil safer for those most exposed to the danger, namely poor.

Not, even, close


But in the late 1990s the government began underwriting studies such as those in Baltimore and East St. Louis using poor neighborhoods as laboratories to make a case that sludge may also directly benefit human health.

Meanwhile, there has been a paucity of research into the possible harmful effects of heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, other chemicals and disease-causing microorganisms often found in sludge.

A series of reports by the EPA's inspector general and the National Academy of Sciences between 1996 and 2002 faulted the adequacy of the science behind the EPA's 1993 regulations on sludge.

The chairman of the 2002 academy panel, Thomas Burke, a professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, says epidemiological studies have never been done to show whether spreading sludge on land is safe.

"There are potential pathogens and chemicals that are not in the realm of safe," Burke told the AP. "What's needed are more studies on what's going on with the pathogens in sludge — are we actually removing them? The commitment to connecting the dots hasn't been there."

That's not what the subjects of the Baltimore and East St. Louis research were told.

Rufus Chaney, an Agriculture Department research agronomist who co-wrote the Baltimore study, said the researchers provided the families with brochures about lead hazards, tested the soil in their yards and gave assurances that the Orgro fertilizer was
store-bought and perfectly safe.

"They were told that their lawn, as it stood, before it was treated, was a lead danger to their children," said Chaney. "So that even if they ate some of the soil, there would not be as much of a risk as there was before. And that's what the science shows."

Chaney said the Baltimore neighborhoods were chosen because they were within an economically depressed area qualifying for tax incentives. He acknowledged the families were not told there have been some safety disputes and health complaints over sludge.

"They were told that it was composted biosolids that are available for sale commercially in the state of Maryland. I don't think there's any other further disclosure required," Chaney said. "There was danger before. There wasn't danger because of the biosolids compost. Composting, of course, kills pathogens."
This was a study that was ultimately also going to benefit a private fertilizer manufacturer. If results warranted, it would have been publicized that Orgo fertilizer spread on soil could protect children, regardless of the possible negatives from toxic substances in the sludge base.

Do I need to speculate on a lobby connection here?

At any rate, the bottom line is these people were used as guinea pigs without being fully advised of the risks in hopes that someone could tell them that if they spend some of their meager income on Orgo fertilizer they can protect their children.

You are welcome to use the stuff liberally. I encourage it.

But the basic parallel is there. People subjected to risk without consenting to said risk.

Atomic Testing (video) Dandelion Salad

http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq4-1.htm

In your world of splitting hairs perhaps you can defend this. I can't.
 

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