The use of biosolids has become quite the normal practice in recent years. It is a way of reducing ‘waste’ and recycling to help the environment, through the partial processing of sewage…yep, sewage. POO, PEOPLE!!! Among anything else that goes down the drain or toilet and ends up in our sewage system.
It is used to ‘fertilise’ food crops, may be used in some household fertilizers, and for energy production. You may or may not be aware that a recent outbreak in certain pathogens has occurred causing people to become very ill with parasitic infections directly resulting from FOOD consumed fertilized with biosolids. This outbreak was reported by Dr Kerryn Phelps after she had seen several patients with stomach pain, changes in bowel habits and vomiting and had to test for uncommon pathogens found only in human poo. The labs testing the samples had also explained to Dr Phelps that it was not only her patients suffering from the infections, but there were many others. Following her thorough investigations, of which most doctors would not think of, it was reported in the media.
According to the EPA, who have set guidelines for sewage plants to follow for the processing of human waste for reuse, the risk of infection is virtually zero, and this is clearly not the case. Since MOST doctors would see patients with unusual health conditions relating to the gut, they have been ‘diagnosed’ with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, when it really is not that at all. It is caused by the parasites that have not been eliminated through the processing of sewage, and since most parasitic infections are spread via the ‘fecal oral route’ (the unintentional consumption of poo germs), a lot of people are unwell.
Biosolids are used in varying degrees in agriculture (human food crops), grazing (dairy and cattle grazing, fodder, poultry, sheep, horses, goats), and recreational facilties for the public (sporting grounds, landscaping of parks etc), as well as in forestry and land rehabilitation.
The crops biosolids are used on are wheat, corn and other grains, of which many are already genetically modified, lettuce, strawberries, and carrots – foods we often eat raw. There are many more agricultural uses too.
Bacteria found in biosolids includes
- Salmonella – causes gastro and typhoid fever
- Shigella – causes bloody diarrhea, fever & stomach cramps, in severe cases (especially kids under 2 may die)
- E. Coli – as for shigella
- Campylobacter – as for shigella, with nausea and vomiting
- Yersinia – leading cause of plague, and proliferates at temperatures 1 to 4 degrees celcius
- Listeria – fever, headache, fatigue, aches & pains. Can lead to meningitis and blood poisoning
- H. Pylori – produces chemicals that damage the stomach lining and lasts for many years
- Legionella – nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, chest pain, shortness of breath, leads to lung infections
- Staphylococcus Aureus – in severe cases causes meningitis, bone & marrow infections, pneumonia, infection of the veins, and infection of the heart ateries
Viruses in biosolids include
- Adenovirus – respiratory infections, gastro, urinary tract infection, conjunctivitis
- Hepatitis A & E – Hep A: liver inflammation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, jaundice and anorexia (loss of appetite). Hep E: as for Hep A but usually self limiting.
- Astro & Rotaviruses – Astrovirus causes gastro and Rotavirus causes diarrhea. In severe cases can cause death.
- Enteroviruses – causes polio (not so much in developed countries), hand foot and mouth disease, viral heart disease, meningitis, and symptoms often present similar to that of a common cold
You may add
- Helminths – worms: including threadworm, tapeworm, roundworm
- Protozoa – single celled organisms with a nucleus and are highly mobile, and cause malaria, giardia, and dysentry. They are almost always seen in those with gum disease, as well as patients with heart disease (they are found plaque accumulations).
- Antibiotic resistant bacteria – there are many of these today
- Endotoxins – found in cases of bacterial infections as listed above
- Prions – the nastiest of all. Almost always fatal and fast developing, casuing brain damage. Causes diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, and Fatal Familial Insomnia. These are rare diseases.
With all this in mind, this is most often how things like ‘food-poisoning’ are diagnosed. If you present to your doctor with feelings of nausea, diarrhea, lethargy, stomach cramps, headaches, and worms, you will be diagnosed with food poisoning. If however, symptoms continue for more than a few days (which is about the life cycle of most infections) you should be aware that more thorough testing is available, and it is essential you request for such tests to be done. As in the recent cases of food poisoning in Europe, several people have died due to inadequate or no medical examination, and self diagnosis of food poisoning.
I will conclude by saying that since most forms of food poisoning occur via direct contact with pathogens, you have to look at the source…the food you eat. With such increased use of recycled poo (and other nasties), its safe to say that biosolid use for fertilizer on food crops needs a lot more research and development (I think it should be banned). And, until such time as treatment methods to eliminate the pathogens are found, it shouldn’t be used.