Feb 19, 1999
Senator Karen Fraser
Chair, Committee on
and Water Resources
PO Box 40482
Olympia WA 98504-0482
Washington Environmental Council is concerned that the Washington Fertilizer Act of 1998 did nothing
to address the unconscionable practice of adding dioxin to commercial produced fertilizer.
In its Dioxin Reassessment Document, the federal EPA estimates that average levels of dioxin in ALL
Americans is "at or approaching levels" where we can expect to see a variety of dioxin induced health
effects. Immunosupression, reproductive effects, heart disease, and cancer have all been linked to dioxin exposure.
Commercially produced fertilizer available to the public may be purchased for the purpose of home
gardening. We understand the technicality that dioxin is not taken up into growing plants. However we also
understand the practical reality and the aesthetic of home gardening, and for this reason find the practice of
adding dioxins to fertilizer which may be used for home gardening to be not only a very real public health
threat, but also to be morally questionable.
Dioxin tainted fertilizer used by commercial farmers may also have health effects due to exposure or
inhalation of soil by growers, as well as residual soil adhering to the plant surface which is then sold to
markets and the public.
For these reasons we strongly support SB5809, which would prohibit wastes containing dioxin from being
included in fertilizer ingredients. We are very grateful that you have introduced this bill into the Senate.