Toxic “forever chemicals” seem to be everywhere these days, from drinking water sources to breast milk. Now, it appears that the chemicals, also known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), have also found their way into fertilizers, according to a report published last month.
The report was written by researchers from the Ecology Center and the Sierra Club, who found that certain fertilizers made from biosolids – nutrient-rich, organic materials derived from sewage sludge – contained PFAS. Some of the fertilizers tested also had PFAS levels that were higher than the limit set by the state of Maine, which currently has the toughest regulations for PFAS concentration in agriculture in the country.
Spreading fertilizer made from sewage sludge in soil used to grow plants meant for consumption means plants could take up some PFAS chemicals. If the plants are consumed, that’s a direct route into the body, said Gillian Miller, a co-author of the study and a senior scientist with the nonprofit group Ecology Center.The researchers tested nine fertilizers containing biosolids for 33 different types of PFAS.
They purchased the fertilizers at nationwide chains like Lowe’s, Ace Hardware and The Home Depot in several states, including Maine and Michigan.Toxic “forever chemicals” found in fertilizers made from sewage sludge – Dr. Eddy Bettermann MD