August 10, 2010
We have been living across and next to sludge spreaders for at least 10 years. I'm sick to death of the stink, oftentimes, literally. The ex-girlfriend of the neighbor across from us developed MS while she lived with him. Through the woods there is another field where sludge is spread. A lady that lives near them is stuck in a wheelchair due to MS. I read a study that said there's a 14% increase in MS in the people living near land where sludge's been applied. My own daughter has had ovarian cysts since before the age of 14, painful cysts that sent her to an emergency room on two occasions. I have various symptoms that relate to endocrine system disruption. Both of these problems have also been tied to sludge.
Truthfully, it has become embarrassing to admit to being an American, for many reasons otherwise, but this one is tops with me and likely many others that are forced to "put up and shut up" with greedy people that find money more important than human health and life. When they have to pay farmers or landowners to let them spread this toxic waste, it should really send a message. When it isn't allowed to be spread within city limits because of safety concerns yet it is okay to put it out in a rural area, there's a plain and simple message there, too. If it were spread in the city limits there would be many more people getting sick and the dangers of sludge would be too obvious to try to sweep under the rug. Other countries have changed how they treat and use sludge because they recognize the health hazards associated with it. It's well beyond time for us to follow suit.
Rebecca Rigdon, Two Harbors, MN