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‘Forever Chemicals’ Found in Home Fertilizer Made From Sewage Sludge

Alarming toxic PFAS levels revealed in new report raise concerns that the chemicals are contaminating vegetables

Sewage sludge that wastewater treatment districts across America package and sell as home fertilizer contain alarming levels of toxic PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals”, a new report has revealed.

Sludge, which is lightly treated and marketed as “biosolids”, is used by consumers to fertilize home gardens, and the PFAS levels raise concerns that the chemicals are contaminating vegetables and harming those who eat them.

“Spreading biosolids or sewage sludge where we grow food means some PFAS will get in the soil, some will be taken up by plants, and if the plants are eaten, then that’s a direct route into the body,” said Gillian Miller, a co-author and senior scientist with the Michigan-based Ecology Center.

The testing, conducted with Sierra Club, found the chemicals in each of nine brands of biosolids it checked, and at levels that exceed standards set for two common types of PFAS. The biosolid brands are sold at stores like Home Depot, Lowes, Menards and Ace Hardware.