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1. DAILY and weekly laboratory testing and analysis to guarantee safety
2. Virtually pathogen-free due to heat-drying process
3. Regulated by the EPA and awarded "Exceptional Quality" status

Your safety is an extremely important consideration in the production of Milorganite.  Milorganite meets the most stringent criteria imposed on any fertilizer product for health, safety and environmental concerns.  Milorganite complies with all federal and local limits, which allows Milorganite to be used with confidence for all of your fertilizing needs, including grass, trees, shrubs, flowers, and vegetables.

Exceeding EPA Standards

Milorganite surpasses the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) "Exceptional Quality" criteria (see chart below), which establishes the strictest concentration limits in the fertilizer industry for heavy metals. 

Milorganite holds itself to an even higher standard than the EPA requirement on polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs), testing for an amount less than one part per million, a third less than the government requirement for a safe product.

Milorganite conducts 18-20 tests daily to ensure it is safe for use.  No one else in the fertilizer industry tests this rigorously.  Human health comes first at Milorganite and we systematically test more than anyone else to guarantee we put a safe product on the shelf.

Metals and Fertilizer Micronutrients - Milorganite vs. U.S. EPA Limits

Metals and Fertilizer
U.S. EPA Exceptional
Quality Limits
2013 Milorganite Average
Arsenic 41 mg/kg 8.1 mg/kg
Cadmium 39 mg/kg 1.7 mg/kg
Chromium No limit 217 mg/kg
Copper* 1,500 mg/kg 254 mg/kg
Lead 300 mg/kg 49 mg/kg
Mercury 17 mg/kg 0.4 mg/kg
Molybdenum* 40 mg/kg 10 mg/kg
Nickel 420 mg/kg 37 mg/kg
Selenium 100 mg/kg 1.5 mg/kg
Zinc* 2,800 mg/kg 498 mg/kg
*essential micronutrients

The Truth About Heavy Metals

Milorganite and all other fertilizers, both organic and synthetic, contain some heavy metals. In fact, plants need some heavy metals, such as copper, molybdenum, and zinc, for healthy growth. The concern with heavy metals in fertilizer is keeping their concentrations under limits deemed safe by EPA and state regulators.  Milorganite is sampled daily (18-20 times) for the presence of heavy metals to evaluate compliance with these limits.  Milorganite is the “gold standard” of biosolid fertilizers, with over 85 years of experience producing a product that is both safe and effective. For more information on the reduction of heavy metals in Milorganite visit our History page.

No Detectable Pathogens

Milorganite is heat-dried in twelve rotary dryers that operate between 900⁰F and 1200⁰F.  This extreme heat and dryness makes the survival of pathogens unlikely. Find out more on How We Make It.

Children and Pets

Milorganite has been used safely around children and pets for over 85 years.  For more on Milorganite, children and pets, please visit the Children and Pets page.

Non-leaching Phosphorous

Phosphorous has come under scrutiny due to its ability to cause excessive algae and water plant growth in lakes and streams.  Phosphorous is a necessary part of a fertility program, essential for early root formation and growth. Current research conducted by the University of Florida shows that phosphorous in Milorganite behaves differently than phosphorous in synthetic fertilizer. It is much less readily soluble, which means that Milorganite is less likely to move into groundwater, lakes and streams. However, this phosphorous is still available for plants to use.  Milorganite’s P stays out of groundwater and in the soil where plants need it.  Learn more about Non-leaching Phosphorous.


Milorganite, like manures and other organic fertilizers, contains very low but detectable levels of pharmaceuticals and household and personal care products. To ensure consumer safety, Milorganite is actively  monitored for a host of compounds that the EPA has ruled as being hazardous.  

Pharmaceuticals have been passing through humans since their invention, but only recently has science gained the ability to measure chemicals at the extremely low concentrations we see today.  Research at the University of Florida indicates that based on the EPA Triclosan reference dosage, it would be impossible to consume sufficient quantities of any of the vegetables to create adverse health effects.

When Milorganite is recycled to soil for nutrients, no evidence of harm has been found in earthworms, the primary exposure group.  Research on earthworms continues as new classes of therapeutic drugs with distinct modes of action become popular.   Public health and safety always comes first at Milorganite.  For additional information visit the EPA website.