2445 Lyttonsville Road
Silver Spring, Maryland 20910
October 25, 1977
I don't understand the logic of your editorial of October 22 implying the use of sewage sludge from heavily industrialized cities such as Milwaukee may be safe for use as a fertilizer in farming and gardening. Half of the input to such sewer systems is the wastes from industrial sources such as chemical plants and metal plating shops. The resultant sewage sludge from Milwaukee and other industrial cities is laced with poisonous chemicals, including cadmium and PCBs. In short, the municipal sewage plants in industrial. cities are essentially one big industrial waste water treatment plant.
As a result of Federal clean water laws, those industries have taken more and more to dumping their waste in the sewer, rather than directly in the streams, thereby transferring the problem to the municipalities. The municipalities have encouraged this practice because it defrays the cost of the municipal treatment plants. I'm sure the Washington Post would never dream of running an editorial advocating the use of toxic industrial and chemical wastes as fertilizer, yet passing these wastes through a. municipal sewage treatment plant (largely paid for by industry) and stamping the resultant waste as "Milorganite" or "Nu-Earth" somehow makes it alright.
The simple question which some "environmentalists"seem unwilling to face head-on is that if those wastes are so dangerous that they cannot be dumped in the oceans or the rivers for fear of the effects on the life in those environments, how come they are advocating injecting them directly. into our food?
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