“In the late 1990s the government began underwriting studies … using poor neighborhoods as laboratories to make a case that sludge may … directly benefit human health.”

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BUT:

… Meanwhile, there has been a paucity of research into the possible harmful effects of heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, other chemicals and disease-causing microorganisms often found in sludge.

A series of reports by the EPA’s inspector general and the National Academy of Sciences between 1996 and 2002 faulted the adequacy of the science behind the EPA’s 1993 regulations on sludge.

The chairman of the 2002 academy panel, Thomas Burke, a professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, says epidemiological studies have never been done to show whether spreading sludge on land is safe.

“There are potential pathogens and chemicals that are not in the realm of safe,” Burke told the AP. “What’s needed are more studies on what’s going on with the pathogens in sludge : are we actually removing them? The commitment to connecting the dots hasn’t been there.”

That’s not what the subjects of the Baltimore and East St. Louis research were told. …

Read the whole horrifying article here.

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