ODORS FROM SLUDGE BIOSOLIDS DISPOSAL SITES
About Air Toxics --- What are toxic air pollutants?
Toxic air pollutants, also known as hazardous air pollutants, are those pollutants that are known or suspected to
cause cancer or other serious health effects, such as reproductive effects or birth defects, or adverse
Acetonitrile has been detected in air near ground levels, ranging from 2 to 7 ppb in both urban and rural areas
(HSDB 1994). Acetonitrile is metabolized in the body to hydrogen cyanide and thiocyanate; The nervous system
is a major target for acetonitrile. acute toxicity. Lower doses cause typical symptoms of cyanide poisoning
such as salivation, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, confusion, hyperpnea, dyspnea, rapid pulse, unconsciousness,
and convulsions. Acute exposure may cause salivation, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, confusion, hyperpnea,
dyspnea, rapid pulse, unconsciousness, and convulsions followed by death from respiratory failure.
Chronic exposure may cause headache, anorexia, dizziness, and weakness (HSDB 1994). After oral or
inhalation exposures to experimental animals, parent compound or metabolites were found in the brain, heart,
liver, kidney, spleen, blood, stomach, and muscle (U.S. EPA 1985). After a fatal human inhalation exposure,
metabolites were also found in those organs as well as skin, lungs, intestine, testes, and urine (U.S. EPA 1985).
Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)
Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) odor and the producing bacteria in sludge / biosolids
Hydrogen sulfide is second only to hydrogen cyanide in toxicity! Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) deaths associated with
sewage have been a fact of life since cities started building sewer lines in the 1800s. While newspapers from the
1800s reported deaths, one scientific theory was the deaths were caused by dead air. By the 1990s, the sewage
industry and oil field industry were aware that high levels of H2S could kill instantly in confined spaces as well as
open spaces when large amounts of the gas was released from oil and gas drilling operations. However, little was
known about long term exposure to small levels of the gas.
Odor causing Amines are deadly
ODOR CAUSING GASES GENERATED BY SLUDGE
Exposure to sufficiently high concentrations of gaseous organic amines can cause severe irritation of the eyes
and skin, and damage to mucus membranes leading to pulmonary edema (bleeding in the respiratory system).
These toxic gases can also cause damage to the: lungs, liver ,and other internal organs. Initial symptoms include
eye, irritation, skin rashes, burning in the mouth, nose, or 'throat, generation of mucus, headaches, nausea, and
vomiting. Such damged tissues can serve as a port of entry for bacterial or viral pathogens, leading to flu-like
infections, pneumonia, or bacteremia/septicaemia
Quantifying the Emission Rate of Ammonia and Trimethyl Amine From Biosolids
While wastewater solids recycling is an accepted practice, it faces challenges of public acceptance. Biosolids
products that meet federal and state standards for reuse may not meet the test of public acceptance due to
odorous emissions. Methodologies to define and measure wastewater solids and biosolids stability and odor
characteristics have been lacking. The application of state-of-the art analytical techniques has been applied to
determine the composition of odorous gases emitted from untreated and lime-treated wastewater solids.
Amine Odor compound Table with links to MSDS data sheets
the wastewater industry is playing a little game to convince the public at large that anyone who complains about
odor from a farmland sludge disposal site is imagining their health problems. The NRC Committee on Toxicants
and Pathogens in Biosolids Applied to Land cited the following study, but it would appear no one bothered to
notice that almost all of the odorous chemical compounds Stiebig found in biosolids can be very deadly. Now I
know Mr. Toffey has access to MSDS documents outlining the health effects of the odorous chemicals found in
Airborne aerosols: pathogens, Toxins, chemicals and metals (pollutants) in SLUDGE/BIOSOLIDS
Sewage sludge contains everything that goes down the drains from industry, hospitals, homes and in many
cases what washes off the streets and land. That includes all of the elements harmful to human health and the
environment. These are disease causing organisms, which create gases as the sludge decomposes, chemicals
which volatize off the disposal sites, and toxic metals carried on the gases and wind when the sludge is mixed
with dirt and dust.. The aerosols off a sludge site not only put the health of farmers, home owners, and
neighbors near the sludge sites at risk, but also health of the public at risk miles from the sludge/biosolids
BIOAEROSOLS: ANTIGENS AND ALLERGENS FROM SEWAGE SLUDGE DISPOSAL
Bioaerosols include microbial cells (microorganisms), their reproductive units, and associated metabolites that
are volatile or small enough to sufficiently achieve aerial dispersion. Categories of bioaerosols include viruses,
bacteria, fungi, algae, and protozoa and their products(Burge, 1990a).