Johns Hopkins raps AP story on lead experiment

Full story: AMNY

For about 20 years, Dr. Michael Klag has used a fertilizer made from Milwaukee municipal sludge on azaleas and yew shrubs at his suburban Baltimore home.
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1 - 3 of 3 Comments Last updated Jun 14, 2008
Caroline Snyder

United States

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#1
Jun 13, 2008
 
Ritter's follow-up article on a risky pilot project carried out by USDA's Rufus Chaney and researches from Johns Hopkins is factually inaccurate, misleading, and full of omissions.
Contrary to Michael Klag's claim, EPAs own documents and peer reviewed published research indicate that Class A sludge compost can pose considerable risk. Legally this material can contain arsenic, mercury, cadmium, and high amounts of lead, as well as disease causing pathogens and thousands of unregulated industrial chemicals. Tom Burke, who chaired the NAS panel, was fully aware of the research of David Lewis and others who had identified some of the risks associated with Class A sludge. He also knew that the NAS report addressed the issue of pathogen regrowth and metal tracking and the need for regulations for this material.
Using a high power rototiller to churn up the lead-contaminated soil, mixing it with Class A sludge compost, seeding it, and not preventing access to the site, subjected small children who ingested this mixture to additional health risks.
AP would have served readers better, had it fully supported the original story by John Heilprin and Kevin Vineys. Both reporters did in-depth research on sludge for a year. Their story WAS accurate. This one is not.
Jackson Browne

Sparta, NJ

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#2
Jun 14, 2008
 
Regarding Ritter’s new AP version of an unwise lead abatement project carried out in a poor Baltimore neighborhood, the AP should have stuck with its earlier coverage of this project by John Heilprin and Kevin Vineys. The earlier version was totally accurate. This one is not.
Contrary to what it states, EPAs own documents and peer reviewed published research all indicate that sewage sludge composts are not risk-free. Sludge compost can legally contain mercury, cadmium, arsenic, high levels of lead viable pathogens and thousands of unregulated industrial chemicals that are not regulated. This material should never have been spread on the front yards in residential neighborhoods.
Sludge victim

Harrisburg, PA

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#3
Jun 14, 2008
 
Class A sludge is somewhat better than Class B sludge but the crux of the matter is this. You put pollutants like Hospital waste, kemo drugs, mortuary waste, industrial waste and everything else that goes down the sewers in a city into a big vat. They compost the material and add chemicals to kill pathogens. What the AP needs to ask Orgro is what SCIENTIFIC PROCEEDURE do they do to remove the hundreds of thousands of pollutants and pathogens?? I think when that question is asked the ansewr will be apparent that many toxins and pathogens still lerk in the Class A sludge as well as the CLass B. There are many viruses and pathogens that can not be killed by the process. You only have to be in the first grade to figure this one out!!!! Let's do an indepth study of all the sewage treatment plants and lets see what they treat with and how. They only test for one or two pathogens out of the thousands and usually only test for 9 metals out of hundreds of thousands, not to mention not testing for pharmacuticals and many other pollutants. The Original AP article was far more accurate. Ever wonder why so many more people have cancer now than they used to????How about all the MRSA and food contamination??? This EPA cover up has gone on way too long at the expense of many innocent peoples lives and health. The EPA is at fault more than Hopkins but Hopkins should have studied all the components of the sludge before they used it so they knew everything that was in it and not taken someone elses word for it.

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