Does anybody know if this zinc sulfate was from a naturally contaminated
source or was recycled from an industrial process? Mike Miller
FERTILIZER, ANIMAL FEED CONTAMINATED WITH CADMIUM
WASHINGTON, DC, May 23, 2000 (ENS) - The EPA has learned that some American
fertilizer and animal feed products made from imported raw materials are
contaminated with cadmium, a toxic metal. The agency is collecting samples
of these products in hopes of identifying the source of the contamination,
which could be dangerous to humans, livestock and wildlife. In March, the
Ag-Chem Commission Company of Oregon found high concentrations of cadmium
in some of its fertilizers, thanks to new rules in Washington state that
require strict testing of fertilizers sold there. The contamination was
traced to imported zinc sulfate from China. Since then, two other companies
that bought the contaminated zinc sulfate have been identified in
California and Idaho.
EPA has found that cadmium can cause a variety of effects from acute
exposures, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle cramps, salivation,
sensory disturbances, liver injury, convulsions, shock and kidney failure.
The EPA fears that fertilizer producers or agricultural workers could be
exposed to the cadmium. The toxin could also be released to the environment
after contaminated fertilizer is spread on fields, and it could be ingested
by domestic animals or wildlife. The agency will continue testing imported
raw materials and finished products for at least the next two weeks.
Ag-Chem is holding 132 tons of zinc sulfate in Seattle, Washington, and 44
tons in San Francisco, California, pending further tests. The company says
hundreds of tons of the chemical were already distributed to companies in
California, Idaho and Washington.
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