Toxic industrial waste in chemical fertilizers, compost, and potting soil

Canola Field in Lower Valley, Bigfork MT

Canola Field in Lower Valley, Bigfork MT

By Catherine Haug, Dec. 3, 2015 (photo, right, by D. Morgan)

A vast majority of commercial farms use chemical fertilizers rather than Organic methods to grow large-scale commercial crops such as potatoes, peas, wheat corn and soy. Most of these chemical fertilizers contain ‘biosolids,’ another name for “treated sewage sludge … intended for agricultural use as a soil conditioner.” Sewage sludge is the solid material that settles out at wastewater treatment plants. (1)

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have found that “biosolids can contain measurable levels of synthetic organic compounds, radionuclides and heavy metals.” (1) Where do these come from? How do they get into the sewage sludge?

Toxins in sewage sludge

While a very small percentage of some of these contaminants are present in human waste, from cleaning products, personal care products, pharmaceuticals etc., the bulk of these and other compounds come from large-scale industry who have found a convenient, stealth way to dispose of their toxic waste without regulation by the EPA. They dump their toxic wastes into local sewage; the resultant sludge is then added to chemical fertilizers as ‘biosolids.’ It is also added to potting soils; you may have some in your patio pots.

If these same toxins were found in our air or water, they would be regulated by the EPA through the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act. But that regulation responsibility does not transfer to sewage. In fact, no one regulates these sewage toxins; a consequence of industrial interference in legislative action.

The following video is an interview with David L. Lewis,, PhD., a microbiologist who worked at the EPA for 30 years until he was fired for blowing the whistle on the corruption and conflict of interest at the EPA.

It doesn’t end with the soil

Any crop planted in soil that is contaminated with biosolids would take up the toxins; any creature that eats of the crop would then be exposed to the toxins, as they move up the food chain. Lets say that corn and soy from crops treated with biosolids are used in the feed used by a CAFO beef-cattle operation. Those cattle would then be exposed to the toxins. The contaminated meat is then butchered into beef cuts you purchase at your grocer, then cook and serve to your family. Now you are contaminated too.

Meanwhile, back at the soil, the contaminants weaken the life in the soil, the life essential to supporting the crops. With each tilling, more contaminated fertilizer is added, and the food-chain cycle continues.

Even the Flathead is at risk

Do you use Glacier Gold compost? Did you know their main ingredient is composted biosolids from Kalispell’s sewer treatment plant. Now that we have some manufacturing industry in the Kalispell area, there is the potential for toxic substances from that industry in Kalispell’s sewage and resultant biosolids.

Worse, box stores that sell gardening soil and compost products get those items from regions with far more heavy industry than the Flathead, so the potential for toxic biosolids in those products is even greater.


  1. Wikipedia on biosolids:
  2. YouTube, The Truth about Biosolids Pollution, an Interview with David L. Lewis, PhD:
  3. Mercola on the biosolids scam:

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