The following article is an excerpt from Chapter 4 (Sludge Magic) of his
"Science for Sale: How the US Government Uses Powerful Corporations
and Leading Universities to Support Government Policies, Silence Top
Scientists, Jeopardize Our Health, and Protect Corporate Profits".
I should mention that have lived over half my life outside the USA and
am aware that the phenomena referred to has become worse. Labeling the
nation a "Plutocracy" may seem far fetched but appears to be
The fitness of Sewage Sludge as a fertilizer is not the fundamental
issue and the lack of Sustainability inherent to "Conventional" Farming
Systems is not simply a mistake or an accident but the result of the
The proper role of government and the manipulation of public policy for
private gain by corporate interests is the reason why farming systems
are what they are today. These issues are real.
Wikipedia's coverage of Sewage Sludge is consistent with the claims made
by Dr. Lewis, although "The neutrality of this article is disputed" (by
Chosen sludge land application sites tend to be locations where
poverty is high and economic prosperity and opportunity is low.
Sludge tends to be land applied where minorities live. This is the
definition of environmental racism. In the United States, the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is charged with investigating
allegations of environmental racism, or, violations of civil
liberties, under Title 6 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The caveat
is that the complaint must be logged to the EPA within 180 days of a
suspected incident of racism.
The term "pollutant" is defined as part of the EPA 503 rule. The
components of sludge have pollutant limits defined by the EPA. "A
Pollutant is an organic substance, an inorganic substance, a
combination of organic and inorganic substances, or a pathogenic
organism that, after discharge and upon exposure, ingestion,
inhalation, or assimilation into an organism either directly from
the environment or indirectly by ingestion through the food chain,
could, on the basis of information available to the Administrator of
EPA, cause death, disease, behavioral abnormalities, cancer, genetic
mutations, physiological malfunctions (including malfunction in
reproduction), or physical deformations in either organisms or
offspring of the organisms." The maximum component pollutant limits
by the US EPA are:
Pollutant Ceiling concentration (milligrams per kilogram)
There are thousands other components of sludge that remain
untested/undetected disposed of from modern society that also end up
in sludge (pharmaceuticals, nano particles, etc.) which has been
proven to be hazardous to both human and ecological health.
In 2011, the EPA commissioned a study at the United States National
Research Council (NRC) to determine the health risks of sludge.
In this document the NRC pointed out that many of the dangers of
sludge are simply unknown and unassessed. Additionally "Regulations
that limit contact with biosolids do not prevent environmental
processes in the conceptual model such as aerosolization or erosion
and the death or multiplication of pathogens."Click the image below to visit the Back 40 General Store Music Department: