Diatomaceous Earth Research
DE = Diatomaceous Earth
Fossil power organic pure diatomaceous earth for health and wellness.
Diatomaceous earth is an inert Silica based sedimentary layer harvested from sediments made up of Diatoms, at the bottom of oceans, lakes, and rivers around the globe. It comes from diatoms – a type of single-celled algae with
microscopic, beautiful geometric shells made of silicon dioxide. Over millennia, diatoms accumulate in aquatic sediments as fossils that can be harvested and dried into a fine white dust. This absorptive dust, known as “DE”, has
been used as an exfoliant in skin products, a source of detoxification and mineral additive in pet food, and is an extremely effective reduced-risk pesticide.
How Does DE Work?
One vulnerability most insects share is the danger of drying out. Their exoskeleton – the hard outer “shell” most adult insects have – safeguards their internal moisture. Inert (“safe”) dusts such as DE are effective pesticides because they absorb water – protecting fats and oils from the epicuticle (outer layer) of the exoskeleton, thereby disabling its moisture-retaining ability. The insect essentially dehydrates.
DE works mechanically, not chemically, and it will remain effective as long as it’s undisturbed.
DE is unique among inert dusts because of its abrasive properties.
The microscopically sharp edges of diatoms abrade the epicuticle, enhancing the dehydrating effect.
The use of inert dusts to control insects has been around for thousands of years.
Ancient cultures around the world used them to protect stored grains against pantry pests like moths and beetles.
The same mode of action is used by birds or other animals that take dust baths – they are ridding themselves of
their arthropod parasites.
In our extremely arid climate, DE’s effectiveness is maximized because it is not limited by high humidity, and insects will desiccate more rapidly for lack of readily available water. Unlike most synthetic pesticides, DE won’t break down in the presence of sun or heat, so it provides long lasting control.
How Safe Is DE?
DE may be processed and graded for pest control on grains (“food grade”)orfor crack and crevice type pest treatments. DE for crack and crevice pest treatments includes trace amounts of pyrethrin pesticides and other chemical synergists, whereas food grade DE is 100% diatomaceous earth without any added chemicals. Both food grade DE and that labeled for pest control will work to kill pests through desiccation; however, the crack and crevice DE containing pesticides and other ingredients gives an additional rapid kill effect.
Food grade DE is non-toxic and high purity forms are safe for human consumption, sold under the general name “Fossil Shell Flour”. It is even allowable on “organic” labeled foods by the United States Department of Agriculture.
The names and labels for food grade DE and general pest control DE are often very similar, so labels should be read carefully.
DE is U.S. EPA registered under several different product names; however, for the purposes of pest control, DE is rated with a “caution” label (the lowest level of toxicity based on a three-tier system assigned by the EPA: caution-lowest toxicity, warning-middle, danger-highest toxicity). NOTE: Pool filter grade DE is processed differently – it is not amorphous, but rather contains crystallised silica (formed when DE is exposed to high heat).
Such forms of DE are carcinogenic and not recommended for use in pest control. Because DE is a fine dust, even food-grade forms may pose a hazard to health if inhaled.
DE should be applied with a bulb-duster and the proper personal protective equipment(for DE this includes a NIOSH-approved respiratory Dust mask, gloves, goggles). Arizona state law requires that public applications of any pesticide – regardless of toxicity – must be done by personnel licensed by the Arizona Structural Pest Control Commission.
What Types of Critters is DE Useful On?
DE – both food grade and forms containing additional pesticides – is effective on anything with an exoskeleton. This means insects (anything with six legs) and non-insect arthropods (eight or more legs). Crawling and hiding insect, spider, and scorpion pests will contact crack and crevice treatments, so DE is an excellent option for these areas.
As with any pesticide application, effective pest control also involves addressing the root of the problem: why the pests are present in the first place. What’s drawing them in? …Food, water, and shelter. Compliment Diatomaceous Earth applications with good IPM techniques.
Here are some examples of useful DE applications:
Stored product pests:
- Add food grade(Fossil Shell Flour) DE to stored rice, flour, grains, etc.
Fleas and pet parasites:
- Sprinkle food grade DE into carpet and pet bedding.
- Work small amounts of food grade DE into your pet’s coat
- Add food grade DE (according to label) to pet’s water or food as a mineral additive. Unofficial studies indicate
DE can help rid pets of internal parasites.
Ants, scorpions, and many outdoor pests:
- Apply DE dry or mixed into water (as per label instructions) to an ant nest hole. The water will carry the DE Deep into the nest. When the DE dries out naturally, it will begin to take effect.
- Use as a dust on your plants to help combat foliage feeders.
- Use a bulb-duster to apply a very light application around the exterior of your home as a barrier treatment.
- Use a bulb-duster to apply a light application into cracks and crevices of block walls harbouring scorpions, under stucco wall joints, and into hard-to-seal corner crevices favoured by widow spiders.
Indoor, crack and crevice:
Note: use food grade DE indoors anywhere children could potentially come into contact.
- Puff into wall voids to control cockroaches and other occasional invaders.
- Apply to cracks and crevices with a bulb duster, or other suitable dust application equipment, to manage a wide variety of pests.
Bertke, E. M. The effect of ingestion of diatomaceous earth in white rats: A subacute toxicity test. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 1964, 6 (3), 284-291.
In a rabbit study, researchers found no bad side effects after applying diatomaceous earth to the rabbits skin five times per week for three weeks. In a rat study, researchers fed rats high doses of diatomaceous earth for six months. They found no reproductive or developmental effects. In another rat study, the only effect was more rapid weight gain and health benefits. That study involved 90 days of feeding rats with a diet made of 5% diatomaceous earth. CLINICAL OBSERVATIONS OF FEEDING FOOD GRADE DIATOMACEOUS EARTH TO DOGS, O.C. Collins, DVM, Midland Animal Clinic And Hospital, Midland, TX: “In clinical observations of feeding dogs over 35 lbs. 1 tbsp./day and under 35 lbs. 1 tsp./day of DE, within seven days all ova disappeared from stools. DE controlled Ascardis (Toxacara canids), Hookworms (Anclyostoma caninum), and Whipworms (Trichuris vulipis).”
RESULTS ON FEEDING FOOD GRADE DIATOMACEOUS EARTH TO WORKING HORSE, L. Thomas, Trainer, L. Frank Roper Stables, Winter Garden, FL:
With horses fed approximately 5 oz. of DE mixed in the feed twice daily, the following results were observed:
- Stopped scours even on horses that had not responded to any other medications.
- Horses showed an increase in appetites,
- Weight gain due to better feed conversion,
- Reduction in manure odours
- Elimination of any internal parasites.
- Healthier appearance
- Stronger Hooves
DIATOMACEOUS EARTH UNDER A MICROSCOPE BY: Dr. Stuart B. Hill [then] Department of Entomology and Ecological Agriculture Projects, McGill University, Montreal, QC.
For centuries stored grain has been protected from insect attack in much of the less developed world by adding some form of powder or dust to it. Common materials include plant ash, lime, dolomite, certain types of soil and diatomaceous earth (DE) or Kieselguhr. With the introduction of synthetic pesticides in the 1940s, and modern fumigants some time later, it was felt that a scientific solution to pest problems had been found. Although these materials provided enormous local benefits, a number of problems are beginning to be recognized. These include the development of resistance by insects, pollution of the environment, contamination of foodstuffs with residues, and exposure of users to toxic chemicals. This has led a small group of researchers and developers to look again at the different powders to see which are most effective and how they can be improved.
Probably the most effective naturally occurring protective powder is diatomaceous earth. This is a geological deposit made up of the fossilized skeletons and tests of siliceous marine and fresh water organisms, particularly diatoms and other algae. These skeletons are made of hydrated amorphous silica or opal. When crushed, they break up into tiny pieces of glass” (so tiny that the material feels like talcum powder). This is easily picked up by the hairy bodies of most insects, whereupon it scratches through their protective wax layers; and they also absorb some of this material, the result being that the insects lose water rapidly, dry up and die. Additional protection is provided by the powder’s property of repelling many insects. A similar principle probably accounts for the fact that birds frequently take dust baths, presumably to rid themselves of parasites. In houses it can be used effectively to prevent the entry of certain insects such as earwigs, ants, and cockroaches, and to control these and others that are present in cupboards containing food, carpets, basements, attics, window ledges, pet areas (for fleas), etc. In all of these examples it is important to place a small amount of the powder in corners, cracks, crevices, and other areas where insects might hide. Whereas with a contact pesticide the insect dies quite quickly, with DE control may take several days. The more important difference is that the effect of the protection provided by the chemical is short-lived, whereas DE will control the pests as long as the powder remains. In this respect DE is an ideal pesticide; it is residual but non-toxic. The only health precautions that need to be taken are that if large areas are being treated with a power duster, the applicator should wear a mask to prevent inhalation. Because DE is made of silica, people sometimes mistakenly think that DE causes silicosis. As indicated above, however, pesticide quality DE is usually over 97 per cent amorphous silica, which does not cause silicosis, which is associated only with crystalline silica. Indeed, inhalation of road dust and grain dust IS likely to be more harmful than DE. In the field DE has potential in certain restricted uses such as treating the bark of fruit trees in spring using an electrostatic duster, or the roots of plants when transplanting: but because it is non-selective and also kills beneficial insects, its use here should be carefully controlled.
Another use is in animal production units for the control of external parasites and flies. This control is achieved by dusting the animals and the litter or bedding area. It has also been included in the diet (two per cent in the grain ration) to control certain internal parasites; and this practice is said to result in lower fly populations in the resulting manure.
It was established in the 1940s that life can’t exist without Silica. More recently, in her book “Water and Salt” Dr Barbara Hendel states:
- “Silica is one of the most important trace element in human health.”
- Silica plays an important role in the many bodily function and has a direct relationship to mineral absorption. Diatomaceous Earth Health Benefits:
Why and How. As you can see from the picture of Diatomaceous Earth – (magnified 7000 times) – it looks like a cylinder full of holes. This cylinder has a very strong negative charge. As these millions of cylinders move through the stomach and digestive tract, they attract and absorb fungi, protozoa, viruses, endoloxins, pesticides, and drug residues, E.coli, and heavy metals. These are trapped inside the cylinder and passed out of the body. In addition, any larger parasites that happen to be in the stomach or digestive tract are “cut up” and killed by the sharp edges of the Diatomaceous Earth. All of these activities result in a much healthier body with less sickness.
We often hear the phrase “I just feel better”, with our Diatomaceous Earth users. This better feeling comes from all the “junk” being removed from the body and by giving the immune system the “jump start” it needs.
Diatomaceous Earth is quite hard. On the MOHS hardness scale where diamonds are a 9, Diatomaceous Earth is 7. This is very important because as those millions of tiny hard and sharp Diatomaceous Earth cylinders pass through the small and large intestines, they “scrub” the walls. After only a few months of taking Diatomaceous Earth, the intestine wall is no longer coated with mucus and moulds.
The advantages of this are several:
- Regular bowel movements (This is the #1 comment everyone makes about DE).
- Healthier colon. This is especially important as we get older. A clean healthy colon keeps away polyps, cancers, and ulcers. Today, many are spending thousands of dollars to get colonics to do the same thing as Diatomaceous Earth does naturally.
- Many users report increased energy and needing less sleep. This is a result of all the food and nutrients that are taken in being better absorbed into the blood stream. With a coated colon – many nutrients never get absorbed.
- A small amount of Diatomaceous Earth gets absorbed into the blood stream as silica. One of the benefits of Silica is that it helps to destroy bad fats. Everyone we know who takes Diatomaceous Earth has lowered their cholesterol by 40-50 points, and they are amazed at how their high blood pressure goes down. Sore joints and ligaments feel better.
- Helps your skin clear up acne/age spots/psoriasis etc
- Hair and nails are stronger and grow faster
- Stronger teeth and gums
- Healthier respiratory tract-less coughing
- Menopause is often reported to have less symptoms
- Healthier urinary tract
We will endeavour to discuss the results that DE users have experienced by taking a heaping teaspoon of DE in their favourite juice or liquid on a daily basis without the benefit of an industry sponsored study.
Some people react with great scepticism regarding human consumption of DE, and while it is not allowed by Government regulators for distributors to make claims about DE’s use as a human health supplement, we do hope to help illuminate the Logical reasoning behind the health claims of CONSUMERS regarding the use of Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth for human health. Diatomaceous Earth (Silica) has been reported to absorb mercury E. coli, endotoxins, viruses (including poliovirus), organophosphate pesticide residues, and drug residues.
DE is a natural organic colon cleanser and detoxifier. This cleansing and detoxification alone has a myriad of positive effects in the human body.
Diatomaceous earth lowers blood cholesterol concentrations.
In this study a potential influence of diatomaceus earth to lower blood cholesterol was investigated. During 12 weeks we monitored serum lipid concentrations in 19 healthy individuals with a history of moderate hypercholesterinemia (9 females, 10 males, aged 35 – 67 years). Individuals administered orally 250 mg diatomaceous earth three-times daily during an 8 weeks observation period. Serum concentrations of cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides levels were measured before study entry, every second week during the period of diatomaceous earth intake and 4 weeks after stop of intake. Compared to baseline (285.8 +/- 37.5 mg/dl = 7.40 +/- 0.97 mM) diatomaceous earth intake was associated with a significant reduction of serum cholesterol at any time point, reaching a minimum on week 6 (248.1 mg/dl = 6.43 mM, -13.2% from baseline; p<0.001). Also low-density lipoprotein cholesterol week 4: p<0.05) and triglycerides levels decreased (week 2: p<0.05, week 4: p<0.01). Four weeks after intake of diatomaceous earth was stopped, serum cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides still remained low and also the increase of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol became significant (p<0.05). Diatomaceous earth, a bio-product, is capable of reducing blood cholesterol and positively influencing lipid metabolism in humans.
Diatomaceous Earth – Zoo Animals
Richard Smith, Hallwood Inc., Animal Food Specialties, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Experimental Feeding of Codex Food-grade Diatomaceous Earth to Zoo Animals A mixture of feed incorporating 2% diatomaceous earth was sent to three zoos for evaluation. John Ball Park of
Grand Rapids, Michigan; Brookfield Zoos of Chicago Illinois; and Buffalo Zoo of Buffalo, New York. John Ball and Buffalo Zoos reported that their black bears on the special feed showed a better coat and clearer eyes. The primates fed at the Brookfield Zoo displayed a pronounced improvement in both appearance and behavior.
Stool samples taken at all three zoos showed an absence of any internal parasites – adult or egg. Parasites in these animals were present prior to using the diatomaceous earth food mixture.
Diatomaceous Earth for Show Horses
For Winds Stables, Robert D. Horkman, Orlando, Florida
Results of feeding 5 oz. of DE to show horses for a period of one year. Healthier-looking animals with a definite sheen to their coats, absence of internal parasites, better feed conversion, reduction in manure odor, fly control, cured scours in cases where other medications had failed, and improved appetites in “picky eaters.”
Diatomaceous Earth For Poultry
C.S. Mangen, DVM, San Diego, California
Using two groups of birds with each group consisting of 8,000 white leghorn caged layers in their pullet year which had been producing for five months. After feeding the test group 60 lbs. of diatomaceous earth per 1 1/2 tons of standard mixed feed (17% protein) for 2 1/2 months the following results were observed:
1. There appeared to be less flies around the test group.
2. Droppings are of a drier consistency, making for easier cleaning of the house.
3. 75% less deaths in the test group.
4. A 2-4 case per day increase in egg production by the test group as compared to the control group
Diatomaceous Earth to Walking Horse
L. Thomas, Trainer, L. Frank Roper Stables, Winter Garden, Florida
With horses fed approximately 5 oz. of diatomaceous earth mixed in the feed twice daily, the following results were observed:
1. Stopped scours even on horses that had not responded to any other medication.
2. Noticeable fly reduction.
3. Horses showed an increase in appetites.
4. Weight gain due to better feed conversion.
5. Reduction in manure odor.
6. Elimination of any internal parasites
7. Healthier appearance