Let's talk heavy metals

Rurumo

Well-Known Member
Hello all,
Have you guys ever seen the little disclaimer on a bottle of nutes that says something like "heavy metal content listed on aapfco.org?" Well, I finally decided to go there and then they direct you to one of the state databases, which basically have all the same numbers https://apps1.cdfa.ca.gov/fertilizerproducts/. Out of sheer curiosity I started looking up all of the nutrients I use and have used in the past, as well as the more popular current brands, and some of the numbers were shocking. First of all, the numbers they provide are in PPM-parts per million-and to be honest, there is no safe amount of cadmium in PPM-it should be ND-not detectable. I would also say the same thing about arsenic, though that one is a little tricky since a lot of inorganic arsenic is more or less bound up and harmless....BUT....there is still no excuse to have ANY in a fertilizer product. Allowing any detectable amounts of these heavy metals, which have built up to dangerous levels in American farm soils over the past 70 years, is inexcusable, and due to sheer corporate greed and or apathy. There is a recent study linking the cadmium levels now common in American farmland to various cancers-the link between brassica crops, which really love to suck up the cadmium, and breast cancer is particularly strong.

What really irritates me is when a company like JR Peters who makes the Jack's nutrients, claim that their products are free of heavy metals as a major selling point, then you go and look them up and they actually have above average levels of arsenic and cadmium. Rather than list the products that are loaded with these, I'll give you a few that I've used in the past, and now will certainly use again, that have no detectable levels of arsenic and cadmium-Age Old Grow, Bloom, and Sweet Finish, Dyna Gro Foliage Pro (that one surprised me), a few other Dyna Gro products, and Neptune's Harvest Fish formula-that's it. Those are the only arsenic and cadmium free "primary" nutrients that I've used, or could find, that had no detectable levels of arsenic and cadmium. There are plenty of seaweed, micro nutrient, and fulvic type products that fit the bill too.

How concerned should you be about this? Probably not very. For me it's more about the principle of the thing. These companies could easily sell us heavy metal free products, that don't build up in our bodies and our soil year after year, and still make a profit...but instead they choose not to. Instead, they buy even cheaper, tainted, raw materials just to incrementally pad their profit margins. And the one's that choose to blatantly lie about it, like JR Peters, should be called out on their BS. If you care about this topic at all, send your favorite nutrient companies an email and let them know it's important to you.

Ruru
 

Rurumo

Well-Known Member
I've been looking up more and more brands and products in this database and it's really interesting to compare "organic" products with the conventional salt products. You would think that heavy metal content would be a big concern for organic nutrient companies, but it's not! I mean, come on people, cadmium content is a far greater practical concern than anything else. The most surprising thing I found is that General Hydroponics has the cleanest product line of all-this was a total shock for me....I was naively hoping some hippy dippy organic brand like NFTG would provide us with heavy metal free products, when in fact THEY ARE ONE OF THE WORST OFFENDERS...Look up Bloom Khaos in that link I provided (that product is fundamental to their line and has the highest arsenic content of any product I found.) I have to give huge props to General Hydroponics, I have a whole newfound respect for them-their three part original line, the FloraNova, Maxibloom, and a ton of other products have no detectable level of arsenic or cadmium, which is rare if you spend some time with that database.

The takeaway for me is from now on, I will only apply a product that has no detectable arsenic or cadmium to my outdoor beds, which I cultivate in a pretty traditional organic way-be careful because of LOT of bone meal, rock phosphate, and guano is heavily contaminated. As for indoor growing in Coco, which is my preferred medium, I care less about growing organically as I do about using clean (no heavy metal) products, so I will likely try some General Hydroponics and Age Old Organics in the future, and who doesn't like Neptune's Harvest Fish Hydrolysate-I'm convinced a little of that regularly through bloom is one of the best terpene enhancers out there!
 

PadawanWarrior

Well-Known Member
Hello all,
Have you guys ever seen the little disclaimer on a bottle of nutes that says something like "heavy metal content listed on aapfco.org?" Well, I finally decided to go there and then they direct you to one of the state databases, which basically have all the same numbers https://apps1.cdfa.ca.gov/fertilizerproducts/. Out of sheer curiosity I started looking up all of the nutrients I use and have used in the past, as well as the more popular current brands, and some of the numbers were shocking. First of all, the numbers they provide are in PPM-parts per million-and to be honest, there is no safe amount of cadmium in PPM-it should be ND-not detectable. I would also say the same thing about arsenic, though that one is a little tricky since a lot of inorganic arsenic is more or less bound up and harmless....BUT....there is still no excuse to have ANY in a fertilizer product. Allowing any detectable amounts of these heavy metals, which have built up to dangerous levels in American farm soils over the past 70 years, is inexcusable, and due to sheer corporate greed and or apathy. There is a recent study linking the cadmium levels now common in American farmland to various cancers-the link between brassica crops, which really love to suck up the cadmium, and breast cancer is particularly strong.

What really irritates me is when a company like JR Peters who makes the Jack's nutrients, claim that their products are free of heavy metals as a major selling point, then you go and look them up and they actually have above average levels of arsenic and cadmium. Rather than list the products that are loaded with these, I'll give you a few that I've used in the past, and now will certainly use again, that have no detectable levels of arsenic and cadmium-Age Old Grow, Bloom, and Sweet Finish, Dyna Gro Foliage Pro (that one surprised me), a few other Dyna Gro products, and Neptune's Harvest Fish formula-that's it. Those are the only arsenic and cadmium free "primary" nutrients that I've used, or could find, that had no detectable levels of arsenic and cadmium. There are plenty of seaweed, micro nutrient, and fulvic type products that fit the bill too.

How concerned should you be about this? Probably not very. For me it's more about the principle of the thing. These companies could easily sell us heavy metal free products, that don't build up in our bodies and our soil year after year, and still make a profit...but instead they choose not to. Instead, they buy even cheaper, tainted, raw materials just to incrementally pad their profit margins. And the one's that choose to blatantly lie about it, like JR Peters, should be called out on their BS. If you care about this topic at all, send your favorite nutrient companies an email and let them know it's important to you.

Ruru
There's arsenic in almost anything. I was surprised to see the heavy metal levels in some of the Build a Soil organic amendments that I use.

Heavy Metal Testing Best Practices Living Soil Growers - BuildASoil
 

cannabineer

Ursus marijanus
@cannabineer could you disambiguate heavy vs light metals on the table and in practice?
For everyone else please enjoy this interlude
On the table, there are several traditions. The most inclusive are the astrophysicists, who rather like that owl in the Tootsie Pop ad decided “the periodic table contains hydrogen, helium and Metals.” Yup everything from the second period (lithium to neon) is deemed a Metal.

I come from a different culture. Toxicity is the theme there, and the heavies are fifth period (rubidium and heavier, with transition metals zirconium through cadmium) and on, along with the some from the fourth period, particularly chromium, nickel and arsenic.

1610982324959.gif

While the heavy metals are very variable in their contact/ingestion toxicities (arsenic, cadmium, mercury and thallium are the tox rock stars) they’re all bad news when inhaled.

Oh and astrophysicists ...

 
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Rurumo

Well-Known Member
god dam rock dust..
Rock dusts are so high in aluminum in general, I have a hard time justifying their use in my own garden. I'm more sold on humic/fulvic acid than rock dusts, and if those are used together, it seems like the fulvic acid would make the aluminum in rock dusts more bioavailable. Everyone knows that azomite is loaded with aluminum, but good old basalt typically has about 20% aluminum as well!

Rock phosphate is a big offender for heavy metal content in both conventional and "organic" fertilizers-BUT- there is no excuse for using tainted rock phosphate, there are many sources of clean rock phosphate with no detectable level of heavy metals.
 

cannabineer

Ursus marijanus
Rock dusts are so high in aluminum in general, I have a hard time justifying their use in my own garden. I'm more sold on humic/fulvic acid than rock dusts, and if those are used together, it seems like the fulvic acid would make the aluminum in rock dusts more bioavailable. Everyone knows that azomite is loaded with aluminum, but good old basalt typically has about 20% aluminum as well!

Rock phosphate is a big offender for heavy metal content in both conventional and "organic" fertilizers-BUT- there is no excuse for using tainted rock phosphate, there are many sources of clean rock phosphate with no detectable level of heavy metals.
Aluminum is amazingly unavailable. There are very few aluminum compounds that are absorbed by mammals. Plants growing in what amounts to bauxite with impurities don’t (I think!) analyze high for aluminum.

Phosphate tends to accumulate uranium and rare earths. A few of the transition metals too, but most of those tend to form sulfides.
 
Hello all,
Have you guys ever seen the little disclaimer on a bottle of nutes that says something like "heavy metal content listed on aapfco.org?" Well, I finally decided to go there and then they direct you to one of the state databases, which basically have all the same numbers https://apps1.cdfa.ca.gov/fertilizerproducts/. Out of sheer curiosity I started looking up all of the nutrients I use and have used in the past, as well as the more popular current brands, and some of the numbers were shocking. First of all, the numbers they provide are in PPM-parts per million-and to be honest, there is no safe amount of cadmium in PPM-it should be ND-not detectable. I would also say the same thing about arsenic, though that one is a little tricky since a lot of inorganic arsenic is more or less bound up and harmless....BUT....there is still no excuse to have ANY in a fertilizer product. Allowing any detectable amounts of these heavy metals, which have built up to dangerous levels in American farm soils over the past 70 years, is inexcusable, and due to sheer corporate greed and or apathy. There is a recent study linking the cadmium levels now common in American farmland to various cancers-the link between brassica crops, which really love to suck up the cadmium, and breast cancer is particularly strong.

What really irritates me is when a company like JR Peters who makes the Jack's nutrients, claim that their products are free of heavy metals as a major selling point, then you go and look them up and they actually have above average levels of arsenic and cadmium. Rather than list the products that are loaded with these, I'll give you a few that I've used in the past, and now will certainly use again, that have no detectable levels of arsenic and cadmium-Age Old Grow, Bloom, and Sweet Finish, Dyna Gro Foliage Pro (that one surprised me), a few other Dyna Gro products, and Neptune's Harvest Fish formula-that's it. Those are the only arsenic and cadmium free "primary" nutrients that I've used, or could find, that had no detectable levels of arsenic and cadmium. There are plenty of seaweed, micro nutrient, and fulvic type products that fit the bill too.

How concerned should you be about this? Probably not very. For me it's more about the principle of the thing. These companies could easily sell us heavy metal free products, that don't build up in our bodies and our soil year after year, and still make a profit...but instead they choose not to. Instead, they buy even cheaper, tainted, raw materials just to incrementally pad their profit margins. And the one's that choose to blatantly lie about it, like JR Peters, should be called out on their BS. If you care about this topic at all, send your favorite nutrient companies an email and let them know it's important to you.

Ruru
Dude badass. Love hearing what ya got to say here!
 

newbplantgrower420

Well-Known Member
very nice find.

i looked at both GH and Dynagro which is all I use now...very minimal heavy metals on both.

I used to use Jacks 3 part and ran into some problems. But now Im using their 1 part this veg run as a test vs foliage pro.

Cant believe these liars are using "minimal heavy metals" in their advertising and marketing then I just checked it has quite a bit compared to GH and DG. Scumbag move. A lot of people including me take their word and it turns out they have alot of heavy metals in their nutrients.

Whatevers.... Ill see how their 1 part does in veg and decide from there if its worth it over DG.

Idk how much of an effect these heavy metals have overall on plant health or our health.... but its always nice to know my main nute lines GH and DG actually have very minimal if any heavy metals in them.
 
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