Questioning DE
I know there are many in the alternative health community who recommend Diatomacous Earth and claim that it has helped them, but I have a lot of unanswered questions about it. It's not traditional. Ancient or primitive people used it for paint or cement, not food. It was discovered by us Westerners in 1837 and first used to make dynamite. The DE I bought very cheaply feels very fluffy for ground up skeletons, and, even if it does have pointy skeletons in it, I'm not sure I want them in me. Just because something kills invertebrates is not a food recommendation to me. DE is a hazardous waste product of the brewing industry, and I am deeply suspicious about the real provenance of so-called "food-grade" DE. Food-grade DE has less than 1/2 of 1% actual ground up skeletons in it which, by the strangest coincidence, is about what the industrial hazardous waste DE has. Of course, the beer industry uses its DE to filter out  the good stuff like yeast and other nutrients and just leave behind the alcohol, so, even if some food-grade DE is industrial hazardous waste, maybe it isn't that bad, but I don't like the idea of giving money to an industry for the privilege of disposing of their hazardous waste for them.

All in all, my answer to the DE question is to avoid it on the grounds that it's not NT, eat sand for the silica (I chelate it myself so the minerals will be more bio-available) and use clay and charcoal for the removing of heavy metals.

On the other hand, it is probably very useful for all of us that someone else is digging up the stuff and finding uses for it because surface DE does get into the air in dry conditions as dust and it can be very damaging to both humans and the environment.

Many commercial sites that sell the stuff will tell you all the wonderful things DE does and where it comes from in general, but don't exactly say where their DE comes from specifically.

DE is not registered for human use because not enough studies have been done, but there are studies on animals that indicate that it is safe for them to consume. I cannot fault the lack of human use registration because many times the stuff made for animals is the "good stuff".


DE as used by beer industry

Diatomaceous Earth Filtration
The sixth step is the diatomaceous earth filtration system is used to filter out any solids left in the fermentation vessel before being sent to the bright tank. The entering materials include the fermented beer and the DE filter media. The two exiting streams include the clarified beer sent to the bright tank and spent DE filter media containing residual solids consisting of yeast, hops, trub, etc. not removed in the previous steps.
Here it is not the solids passing through the system that are of concern, since none of the discharge goes out as wastewater. The filter media [DE] itself is considered a waste once it becomes soiled. The filter media can be used several times but needs to be replaced with fresh media periodically in order to maintain the quality of filtration. Currently, the filter bed is bagged and thrown away as municipal waste. Although the material itself is not considered hazardous waste, the way in which it is handled after leaving the WBC dumpster must be considered and will be discussed later on.

Diatomaceous Earth Filter
The wheeled piece of equipment that serves as the DE filter is also cleaned with caustic, but only once per week on Monday’s in the morning
Ten ounces of 30& sodium hydroxide caustic solution mixed with 100 gallons of water are pumped through the filter
and subsequently through all of the piping for 10 minutes followed by 100 gallons of fresh water. Any removable pieces are soaked in highly concentrated caustic during the 10 minute cycle and rinsed. 

Diatomaceous Earth Filter Media
Diatomaceous Earth Filter media (DE) is considered a hazard when stored as a dry material (Diatomaceous). The dust can cause nearby employees with long term exposure a disease called silcolysis. DE filter beds have also been found to be a carcinogen with long term inhalation (Baker). There, even though Wachusett Brewing Company is only a small user of DE, it still should be defined as one of the hazardous materials located within the plant and treated with the utmost care. Any employee in contact with it should always wear an appropriate face mask in order to ensure their least exposure.

There are just too many unanswered questions. Silica is widely available as sand. I suggest the next time you go to the beach, bring back a quart of fine sand, dry it, run it through a blender and then sift it to get it as fine as possible. Mix it with some acidic source (see sources of suitable acids on my page on minerals) so that it can chelate to make it more bio-available to the body and store it in a glass jar. Add it to your other mixed mineral sources in whatever method you use to take more minerals.

Salt: Your Way To Health by Dr. David Brownstein. A good book for those who have been told by their doctor to cut down on salt because of high blood pressure, and why natural sea salt is good for you.
Our Earth Our Cure: A Handbook of Natural Medicine for Today by Raymond Dextreit.
Your Body's Many Cries for Water  by Fereydoon Batmanghelidj. This is a fascinating book. The author is a doctor who spent time in prison in Iran during the Revolution. Having no medicine, he cured many of the illnesses of his fellow-inmates with just water.

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