What is Sewage Sludge?
Sewage sludge is the residual solid material that remains after sewage is treated. It consists of human organic waste, human faeces, and other materials such as microplastics that is found in sewage. Sewage sludge is a hazardous substance as it contains harmful bacteria and chemicals.
Sewage sludge can be used for composting, land application or incineration. The latter two options are not very common in Europe due to the strict regulation on emissions from incinerators and the high cost of land application.
Sewage sludge is also known as biosolids in certain countries like Australia.
What are the dangers of microplastics ?
Microplastics are small pieces of plastic that are less than 5mm in size. They can be found in food, cosmetics, and other products.
Microplastics are not a new discovery but they have become more popular recently because they have been found to be in many food products like fish and seaweed. These plastics can also come from the synthetic fibers of our clothes when we wash them.
The dangers of microplastics are not fully understood yet but there is evidence that they may cause cancer and other health problems if consumed or inhaled.
Microplastics are currently used in fertiliser to create slow release fertiliser. These tiny plastic beads can be mixed into the soil and will slowly release nutrients for the plant to absorb. However, these microplastics are still being released into our environment where they will accumulate and can lead to a huge variety of environmental and human health impacts.
It’s estimated that 107,000-730,000 tonnes of microplastic are spread on European and North American farms each year. In 2017, Australia produced 327,000 tonnes of dry biosolids containing microplastics–75% of which were used in agriculture.
In Australia, around 3-19 kilo-tonnes of plastics is applied to farmland via biosolids each year, according to research in the Science of the Total Environment journal.
A WWF study has shown that on average, we might ingest some 5 grams of microplastics a week per person. It’s equivalent to eating a teaspoon of plastic — or a credit card — each week.
“Chemicals can leach out in the environment, but [they] can also increase during weathering — plastic can absorb chemicals from the environment,” Dr Palanisami said.
What are the main sources of micro plastics?
Microplastics are tiny pieces of plastic that are less than 5 millimeters in size. They can be found in many places, such as the surface of the ocean and inside marine animals.
The main sources of micro plastics include:
– Packaging materials – bubble wrap
– Personal care products (e.g., toothpaste)
– Clothing fibers
– Detergents and other household cleaners
– Table salt derived from sea water which contains microplastics
– Tap water
According to the study, the highest levels of long-lasting uses of plastic were found in shellfish, beer and salt.
How is Sewage Sludge Applied to Crops and Why has it Become a Problem?
Sewage sludge is a by-product of wastewater treatment. It is a nutrient-rich organic material that is usually applied to crops. Sewage sludge has become an issue because it can contain pathogens and heavy metals.
Some people believe that sewage sludge should be avoided because it may not be safe for consumption, but others argue that it can be used as fertilizer to replace chemical fertilizers.
What are the potential health effects on humans and animals due to exposure to microplastics in farmed food?
The use of plastics in food production has not been studied extensively. However, there is a potential for health effects on animals and humans due to exposure to microplastics in farmed food. These exposures can happen through ingestion of microplastics, inhalation of airborne particles containing microplastics, or through the skin.
The article discusses the potential health effects on humans and animals due to exposure to microplastics in farmed food. The author also mentioned that these exposures can happen through ingestion of microplastics, inhalation of airborne particles containing microplastics, or through the skin.
Conclusion: The Dangers of Microplastics in Sewage Sludge Sold As Fertilizer To Farmers
The dangers of microplastics in sewage sludge sold as fertilizer to farmers is a serious problem that needs to be addressed. Sewage sludge contains harmful chemicals and microplastics, which can affect the crops. In addition, the people who consume these fertilizers are at risk of developing cancer and other health problems.
In order to address this issue, governments need to implement stricter regulations on what can be used as fertilizer in agriculture. They should also ban the use of sewage sludge as fertilizer altogether. Longer term health studies and research is required to determine human impact, but the wildlife animal impact is already present.