The California-based Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the formation of a study group to examine the need for national action following a series of reports in a Seattle newspaper about crop loss and health problems arising from the use of fertilisers containing recycled industrial wastes and radionuclides. The Washington state department of ecology, agriculture and health was flooded by the letters from angry citizens concerned about food safety. The fertiliser industry is known for using recycled industrial wastes containing metals such as copper, zinc and sodium. Although US federal law restricts the direct land disposal of heavy metals, the rules change when the constituents are recycled into fertilisers ( Environment Science & and Technology , Vol 31, No 10).
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