Safe not Organic

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by ecoguy, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. ecoguy

    ecoguy LawnSite Member
    from Duncan
    Posts: 234

    Is the compost you use organic? My guess is no. What about the natural fertilizers/meals -they GMO free? Probably not. How about Milogranite? Totally natural? Nope.

    My guess is those who call themselves organic really mean safe. Immediately bare foot safe for people, places, things - even microbes. I've also used the word organic but I think safe is a much more helpful word. People automatically know what you mean, and unless your lying, there's very little grey area. Eventually safe or - give it a few hours safe, isn't safe. It's either safe right now or it isn't. Pretty black and white. Organic can be too...political plus it can actually be grey. How many times have you seen Organic on a product that isn't safe? Talk about confusing. Same goes with natural and eco. Safe lawns. Paul Tukey and Co. had it right with that one. Plus, it's a lot easier to decide what to use in your program.

    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011
  2. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,584

    I agree that the term organic is misunderstood, misinterpreted and over used.
    The term safe is not much better. I've been struggling with this for awhile and have decided to replace "Organic" with "Environmental" in our company name.
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    'Environmentally safe' is the same as being, NOT environmentally dangerous No real difference if it is immediately or a half hour after drying...
  4. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,115

    In the US you cannot use the word "safe" on a fertilizer/pesticide/soil amendment label.

    Safelawns is defunct
  5. ecoguy

    ecoguy LawnSite Member
    from Duncan
    Posts: 234

    Hey Bill. Is this because of the misuse of the word safe?
  6. NattyLawn

    NattyLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,643

    Nothing is 100% SAFE.
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    I don't think the word 'safe' was ever absolute... it is out politcal correctness that's has placed us in a maximum security mode... the only real 'unsafe' thing about lawn chemicals is , stupidity... :)
  8. ChiTownAmateur

    ChiTownAmateur LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 386

    Almost all compost is made from organic materials, plants and/or animals that are rotting and breaking down. Why would you suggest that compost is not organic, I'm not following I don't think.

    Natural-state is certainly a very different point, perhaps only water is applied to a lawn in it's natural state...and then again only in the case where someone irrigates from a well or a river and is not using treated water.

    Just because American society decided to try and rebrand the term "organic" to mean natural and/or undoctored or modifed doesn't change the fact that organic is just that, a carbon based life form.
  9. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,584

    One example of compost that should not be used is any that included clippings from turf that was treated with herbicides that do not breakdown during the decomposition of organic matter.
  10. gunsnroses

    gunsnroses LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 266

    Good luck with it. Is radon organic? Safe? The only point with this cut and paste is to show how confusing it is. Rock is not true organic anyway, but this is just an example. If you skip the reading, at least check the last sentence.

    Aside from fluorine pollution, Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) is the major concern of most government environmental agencies regulating pollution and phosphorgypsum waste from the manufacture of phosphoric acid.

    Again, depending on geographic location where the PR is mined, it can contain from 50 - 200 ppm of uranium. PR is the major source of 'yellow cake' (uranium oxide) for nuclear weapons and the nuclear power industry.

    PR is notorious for its radioactive constituents. The risks it poses are most threatening to people who come into direct contact with it - eg. organic growers. However, organic growing organisations seem to be oblivious to these health hazards - despite the information having been available for many years.

    Where there is uranium in natural rock formations, there will also be all its carcinogenic decay rate products; such as radium, radon, radioactive lead, polonium, thorium, etc.

    There are also toxic metal contaminants such as beryllium, manganese, arsenic, lead, mercury, cadmium and vanadium.

    The tailings from phosphoric acid production (phosphate fertiliser), phosphorgypsum, are so radioactive that they are not allowed to be used for wall-board or road beds in the US and Canada - because it is considered a radiation hazard. However, organic growers are allowed to treat their fields with the raw, unprocessed product once every six years, with none of the contaminants processed out. 2000/Bat04/section04.asp

    Taking a closer look at this 'natural' PR mix, we find for example polonium-210:
    One particle of polonium-210 gives off 5,000 times more alpha radiation than the same amount of radium. Damage occurs in the body from complete tissue absorption of the energy of the alpha particle. Polonium-210 can be carcinogenic to people exposed to more than 0.03 microcuries (6.8 trillionths of a gram). Polonium-210 has a half-life of about 138 days.(There are also high levels of Radium and Polonium- 210 in granite dust, which is used by organic farmers is some parts of the world as a soil conditioner).

    Half Life: Half of the polonium gives off intense alpha radiation for 138 days until it turns into regular lead and becomes stable. However, half the polonium still remains, emitting alpha radiation for another 138 days; then a quarter of the original amount, and so on and so on.

    Polonium is found in tobacco grown with phosphate fertilisers. Studies have suggested that radioactive polonium may be the primary cause of smoking-related cancers.

    Polonium is carried throughout the body in the blood. It has been linked to more soft-tissue cancers than bone cancers; typical sites are the liver, spleen and kidney.

    Radon is also given off from PR and ground granite. Radon is second only to smoking as the leading cause of lung cancer in the UK.

    Radon is an important environmental hazard, due to its release of alpha particle radiation. It has a half life of 3.8 days.

    Radon is also soluble in water.

    Radon, in and of itself, is not a carcinogen. It is the decay products of radon that are the problem.

    If organic growers are using PR or ground granite, they are being exposed to these radioactive elements, especially radon. It is important to note that these do not simply dissipate from the product in a few days, months or years - these products will emit radon for many thousands of years.

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