Originally published August 18 2010
San Francisco's free 'organic biosolids compost' filled with toxic chemicals
by Jonathan Benson, staff writer
(NaturalNews) The Food Rights Network (FRN), a nonprofit research group, recently issued a press release explaining the test results from a study of San Francisco's free "organic biosolids compost".These independent tests revealed that the free soil, given to the public by San Francisco's Public Utilities Commission, is loaded with endocrine-disruptive chemicals.
Scientists found "appreciable concentrations" of polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants, triclosan, an antibacterial agent, nonylphenol detergent breakdown components, and other things in the compost.
According to the commission, the compost is derived from sewage sludge and given out to the public for use in home gardens and at schools. But due to chemical contamination, many are calling on the city end the program immediately.
"Giving out sludge-based 'compost' that contains PDBEs, triclosan, and who knows what other toxins, while calling it 'organic compost', knowing it would be applied to school and home gardens, is wrong on a number of levels. Given the toxic compounds that have been found...the 'compost' giveaway should be permanently ended by the City of San Francisco," explained Dr. Michael Hansen, senior scientist with Consumers Union, to FRN.
Many people are testing positive for high levels of these chemicals in their bodies, too. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, triclosan concentrations increased in people by more than 41 percent between 2004 and 2006. And PDBE concentrations have been increasing recently among California citizens.
"The staff of the Public Utilities Commission and Mayor Gavin Newsom have allowed Bay Area residents to become guinea pigs in a heinous scam that has fooled gardeners into thinking they were receiving real organic compost for their gardens, when they were tricked into allowing the sewage sludge industry to use their gardens as a waste dump. This must stop," urged John Stauber, co-founder of and adviser to FRN.
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