Biowaste: A Serious Health Concern

In Philadelphia, 200,000 tons of dried human waste could be the cause of numerous health problems for area residents, from asthma to cancer.
March 18, 2006, 7am PST | David Gest
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"Every year, 200,000 tons of dried human waste spends some amount of time sitting in mounds off I-95's Bartram Avenue exit, under the Platt Bridge. When you flush your toilet, the processed solids eventually end up here, minutes from the office of the Rev. Robert Johnson, an Eastwick community advocate.

For 27 years, Johnson has lived in this neighborhood sandwiched between the airport, the Sunoco refinery and the Water Department's sludge factory, called the Biosolids Recycling Center. Johnson's daughter and grandson have asthma, problems he assumes are exacerbated by the constant 'gastric' odors emanating from the nearby combination of poo and petroleum."

"Now, the Water Department has a plan to outsource biosolids processing -- a move that would eliminate the odors, save millions of dollars and turn the sludge into safe compost. But what the city isn't talking about is that most of the sludge it's been processing for years along the busiest interstate in the country is the same stuff that some parents in rural Pennsylvania blame for killing their children."

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Published on Thursday, March 16, 2006 in Philadelphia City Paper
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