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I remember this from the article, is was right down the road from where I used to deer hunt 30 or so years ago in Main "Among the few standards for PFAS in sludge are in Maine, where the state government set screening levels for PFOA and PFOS, two common types of PFAS. It developed the standards after milk from cows on a dairy farm that spread sludge were found to be contaminated with high levels of PFAS. The cows had to be killed, and the farmers found extremely high PFAS levels in their blood. "
 

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I think we need some elaboration here! :ROFLMAO: #heyyallwatchthis
The exact chemicals mixed, and the materials cleaned or removed are covered by an NDA. Some customers were either extra paranoid, or sloppy and would have unlisted materials that occasionally reacted violently.
 

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1025R, '30 Ford, '08 Range Rover Supercharged, '63 MGB, '92 300ZX twin turbo, '73 Courier 2.3 turbo
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I can't help but wonder if many people who want to "do the right thing" for the environment, operate with the misconception of products designated as "Organic" as being safe and harmless. But are they?

One of my neighbors contacted me asking for assistance because he is ashamed of how their yard looks. He told me that his wife is very concerned about using "any chemicals" and she is adamant about using "Organic Products" only. To be honest, I haven't really paid much attention to the "Organic Products", so this was a reason for me to learn more about them and research what they are and how they actually work. Let's just say, this was an eye opening experience......

She purchased a 5 gallon container of "Weed Killer" which she wanted applied to the lawn to deal with broad-leaf weeds. I read the instructions and the product is described as a "Non selective Contact Killer of weeds and grasses". In other words, it kills everything it touches including all weeds and grasses.

It Turns out it is made with one of its main disclosed ingredients being 20% Vinegar concentrate. On the label, the products were listed as 81% "other", after listing the Vinegar. By comparison, most table vinegar found in our homes is between 3% and 5% in concentration.

This makes the 20% Vinegar concentrate quite caustic. People who have purchased the product posted pictures on line where the product has leaked from the spray nozzle on the container and its eaten the finished layer of concrete right off the floor. Other pictures posted show it crumbling the surface layer of concrete and even eating a hole through a steel service door. It's a very effective weed control product, but it also kills all grasses and any plant on which it is applied.

The neighbor who purchased this product simply couldn't believe (in her words) that "An organic product would be damaging or destructive". I am surprised by what I have found, the more I have read. The level of personal protection gear to use "Organic Products" is every bit that of what one should wear when working with chemicals. In fact, the warning label on the Organic Weed killer says the following;

  • Dangerous / Deadly to Fish, Birds and other Animals
  • Areas treated in agricultural settings should not allow workers to enter the area for 48 hours following treatment.
  • Applicators and other handlers of this product must wear appropriate protective eye ware such a face shields, goggles and other certified safety equipment. Rubber gloves must be worn as well as long sleeves, long pants, socks, shoes and all contact with the skin should be avoided.
  • Areas treated with this product should be avoided for at least 48 hours following treatment with this product.
  • Product is very caustic and will cause serious injury or death if absorbed through the skin or ingested.
  • The product even "suggests" that the empty product container be "thoroughly rinsed with 1/4 container of water and shaken vigorously with the cap sealed. Rinse contents should be dumped into application equipment for future use. This process should be repeated at least 3 more times before disposing of the empty product container". That's to dispose of the empty container for the organic product.

They have a video on the products website where mom is spraying weeds and her young daughter is within 3 feet of her and the video talks about how the product is "all natural and made from Corn" and "contains no harmful chemicals"

The website and the video marketing the product go to great lengths to illustrate that its not made with "Harmful chemicals" and just how safe this product is for use around people and pets. Anything which in its application form eat finished concrete and corrodes a steel door to the point it eats the paint off and destroys the metal, well, its prudent to question just how harmless and safe such a product truly is............

I can't help but think many people automatically associate "Organic" with a product being safe and harmless. Clearly that's not the case. In fact, based upon the amount of the product used to be effective, its often a multiple of the "chemical" alternative. This makes the organic product being used to treat the problem, applied in a much heavier concentration, which has concerns of its own.

For example, one "weed control" Organic Product I reviewed for use on the lawn required a total of 12 gallons of the product to treat the one acre of lawn, mixed with 36 gallons of water. Using the broad leaf control product I typically apply, it would require 1.5 ounces of product per gallon of water and a total of 45 gallons of mixed product to treat the same area. That means the end difference in the volume of the product mixed with water is slightly more than 1/2 gallon of chemical weed control product as compared to 12 gallons of the Organic product. Both mix with similar amounts of water to treat an acre of lawn.

The other interesting fact I found about many of the weed killer products is that the organic products often use a soap mixture, to actually coat the plants to suffocate them. It makes the mixing and application of the Organic product difficult because it easily creates suds when agitated even with the basic tank movement, making the need to add the organic product after filling the sprayer with water and avoiding any agitation of the mixed product.

Another very interesting product comparison is to apply Nitrogen to the lawn using the natural product of Milorganite, which is made using the microbes material cleaned from the Milwaukee sewer treatment plant tanks. It sells in a 32 pound bag for about $16 per bag, which treats 2,500 sq feet. To treat an acre of lawn with the Milorganite product would require approximately 20 bags, with a total weight of 650 pounds at a cost of $320.

To treat the same acre with a nitrogen granular fertilizer product which I have used for years, require (3) 50 pound bags and a total cost of $125.

Milorganite appears to be a "safer" product from an application stand point. Its very unlikely you will burn the lawn applying Milorganite and its pelletized product makes the application of the product consistent as moisture breaks down the Milorganite into the lawn. Other than the higher cost and the much larger volume of product needed, the dangers of using Milorganite verses other nitrogen fertilizers seems to be much less........

Lot's to consider when looking at "Organic Alternatives", including the amount of the product needed and its cost when compared to traditional product sources of engineered products.
You have discovered why professional applicators (in my CA, AZ, & NV experience) must study and pass rigorous exams about chemical applications. The hardest part of the exam? Reading the label! As an aerial applicator (new term for crop duster), I must also pass annual recurrent education classes and exams. The products sold at retail stores to the public are quite scary because hardly anyone (my opinion) really knows what damage can be done by those chemicals. Lawn fertilizer runoff is just one of the problems.
 
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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
@SulleyBear did his wife ever admit defeat?
She never did admit defeat, but I h.ave been able to apply the granular fertilizer products I use and suggested for use on their lawn, which she initially objected to. In fact, the day I went to apply the fertilizer, she came out on the deck to get my attention to once again, express her "concerns". This time her concerns were because I had suggested her kids stay off the lawn following the fertilizer application for a few hours and she interpreted the few hours of avoidance as the product being "risky".

So, I took off my glove, uncovered the top of the fertilizer spreader and picked up a hand full of the granular fertilizer and said "The only reason I suggested they avoid the lawn immediately following my application of the fertilizer is so they don't track it into the house, etc. Once the lawn irrigation runs, or it rains, then the risk of them tracking it off the lawn and elsewhere is greatly reduced."

As if on cue, it started to sprinkle rain at that moment. I dropped the material back into the spreader and covered up the material in the spreader with the plastic cover ( I use a front mounted JRCo electric spreader) and then I said to her, "I am not concerned about this fertilizer in my bare hands, but I sure wouldn't want to get the 20% Vinegar solution of the weed and grass killer product which you have in the garage. If I did get any of it on my skin, I would want to rinse it immediately and thoroughly with water and then watch the skin area carefully for possible caustic burns, even with very brief or limited exposure."

She then agreed to the fertilizer application and she admitted about how much better their lawn is looking. She did at first say that fertilizer wasn't necessary because they had "already fertilized the lawn in April" and then I explained to her about the need to fertilize based upon the products effective period. The "Organic" product she had bought from Amazon requires application every "4 to 6 weeks" where the product I use is suggested for application every 8 to 10 weeks, so we are using less of the product each year, as suggested by the manufacturer.

Shortly afterwards, I got an email from her husband apologizing to me for his wife "being difficult" and "going overboard" on these matters. I explained to him I understand her concerns and the approach we are taking is consistent with being good stewards of the land and not excessively using any product.

The husband is caught in the middle, but he is much happier with how his lawn now appears and he told me he has gotten compliments from neighbors on the improved appearance of his lawn, when before, he was embarrassed about the appearance of his lawn and felt like before the changes we have made, his lawn was the worst looking lawn in the neighborhood (which it was...).........

His wife did make an interesting, yet very uninformed comment about the products. She said "We trust Vinegar and know its not harmful, verses other chemicals which might be". I replied "We trust table vinegar in its normal 3% or 5% concentration strength. But the 20%+ concentration of the vinegar in the "Non-selective Grass and Weed Killer product" is something which is very different than the table vinegar. You surely wouldn't want to use the vinegar with a 20% strength as you use the other" She agreed, I think, reluctantly.............

Hopefully, she is coming around..........perhaps while still kicking and screaming somewhat................
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
You have discovered why professional applicators (in my CA, AZ, & NV experience) must study and pass rigorous exams about chemical applications. The hardest part of the exam? Reading the label! As an aerial applicator (new term for crop duster), I must also pass annual recurrent education classes and exams. The products sold at retail stores to the public are quite scary because hardly anyone (my opinion) really knows what damage can be done by those chemicals. Lawn fertilizer runoff is just one of the problems.
Not to mention the Continuing education fees and license revenue adds money to the states coffers.

In Michigan, I have to pay the state, per CE credit hour, to "accept" my test results from my CE exams, I believe its $1 to $3 per credit hour, depending upon the specific level of licensing. This is something new in the last few years, where you have to not only pay for the license renewal, which has long been the case, but you have to pay the state to accept and post the CE test results, which is another $40 to $120 per year, per CE license requirement to maintain your license.............
 
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