Milorganite Safety

A scientist testing in a labatory.

Milorganite is produced with your safety in mind every single day. It complies with all federal and state standards for fertilizers and can be used with confidence for all of your fertilizing needs, including lawns, trees, shrubs, flowers, and vegetables.

It meets the most stringent criteria imposed on any fertilizer product for health, safety and the environment and is more heavily regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) than synthetic (chemical) fertilizers. Milorganite has consistently received the EPA’s Exceptional Quality designation since 1993, when the guidelines were created.

Daily Testing to Ensure EPA and State Standards are Met

Milorganite is laboratory tested 18–20 times daily to ensure compliance with all applicable EPA safety guidelines. Routine analysis is also conducted to test for numerous other pollutants and pathogens. For additional information you can refer to Milorganite’s Safety Data Sheet.

The Truth About Metals

There’s confusion with regard to metals. Several of these metals are called “micronutrients” and are necessary in small amounts for plants to grow and reproduce, including copper and zinc, which naturally occur in the environment, and molybdenum. The concern is ensuring the concentrations of metals in fertilizers is under the limits deemed safe by the EPA. The concentrations of metals in Milorganite are far less than what is deemed acceptable by the EPA to be considered an Exceptional Quality product. Milorganite was, in fact, considered by the EPA as the basis for which the Exceptional Quality standards for biosolids fertilizers was established.

Metals and Micronutrients - EPA Limits and Milorganite Averages
Metals and Micronutrients EPA Exceptional Quality Limit 2016 Milorganite Average
Arsenic 41 mg/kg 2.3 mg/kg
Cadmium 39 mg/kg 0.22 mg/kg
Chromium No limit 226 mg/kg
Copper* 1,500 mg/kg 223 mg/kg
Lead 300 mg/kg 37 mg/kg
Mercury 17 mg/kg 0.26 mg/kg
Molybdenum* 75 mg/kg 10 mg/kg
Nickel 420 mg/kg 30 mg/kg
Selenium 100 mg/kg 4.7 mg/kg
Zinc* 2,800 mg/kg 461 mg/kg

*Essential micronutrients

Heat Drying Kills Pathogens

Milorganite is heat-dried in large-scale, bus-sized rotary dryers that operate at 900–1200°F. The extreme heat and dryness kills pathogens. Here’s a video on how Milorganite is produced. You can see the dryers for yourself.

Safe for Children and Pets

You can use Milorganite with confidence knowing it’s safe for your family and pets, and the environment. Milorganite is composed of organic matter and nutrients, and contains no pesticides or herbicides.

Safe for the Environment

Phosphorus runoff is a significant pollution problem globally, which causes algae blooms, fish kills, and objectionable odors in waterways. The type of phosphorus in Milorganite is different from synthetic fertilizers. Phosphorus, essential for root growth and winter hardiness, is slowly released at a rate plants can use, so it stays in your lawn and garden, significantly reducing the chance for runoff or leaching into groundwater.

Micro-impurities: Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products

In modern society, it’s inevitable that trace amounts of pharmaceuticals and personal care products will be present in wastewater. Although detectable, concentrations of these compounds are extremely low in Milorganite.

From water reclamation and Milorganite production, to harvest and consumption, it’s a long pathway for these micro-impurities to reach humans. The risk they pose to people and the environment is extremely low and is reduced at every step along the way. Milorganite is a leader in investigating the risk caused by these compounds.

One study found that Triclosan, a commonly used anti-bacterial, anti-fungal agent used in a range of products from soap to toothpaste, was detected at very low levels in vegetables fertilized with Milorganite, with corn having the highest concentration. A 154-pound person could eat up to 1,249 lbs of this corn daily without any adverse effect, indicating that the risk of Triclosan exposure from Milorganite is extremely low.

This video explains how Milorganite fertilizer is safe.