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Is paper and cardboard toxic


 
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heno55
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:57 pm    Post subject: Is paper and cardboard toxic Reply with quote

Everything that i have read about composting and reducing the amount of waste you generate says to compost paper and cardboard this is all very well but i seem to remember reading about how papermills in the us were resposible for a lot of toxic polution in rivers and the sea, if this is so then i wonder just what kind of chemicals are used in the production of paper/cardboard and also in the ink for printing. I think this is important to know as my compost will become part of my food chain, any help on this topic would be most helpfull.
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Lius
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 8:29 pm    Post subject: Composting Newspaper Reply with quote

From:- http://www.collectiveroots.org/node/540

"Yes, newspaper will compost, but there are some concerns about newsprint. For one, the glossy pages are covered with a clay that retards composting. For another, the inks can be petroleum-based solvents or oils with pigments containing toxic substances such as chromium, lead and cadmium in both black and colored inks. Pigment for newspaper ink still comes from benzene, toluene, naphthalene, and other benzene ring hydrocarbons which may be quite harmful to human health if accumulated in the food chain. Fortunately, quite a few newspapers today are using soy-based inks instead of petroleum-based inks. If you really want to know about the type of ink in your newspaper, call your newspaper office and ask them. Otherwise, keep the glossy paper or colored pages in your compost to a minimum.
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BlackBird
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glossy, no (ie. argos book). Cardboard and all black and white newspaper, yes. That's the way I have always done it.
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Lius
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:08 pm    Post subject: Toxic Compost Reply with quote

But what exactly is in the black ink on the newspapers and on the print on brown bags (Dunnes Penny's etc.) and cardboard boxes?

I think you should only include green/brown kitchen/garden waste in your compost for edible vegtables. There is far too much illness including cancer in our Hospitals at the moment. Keep the recucled paper for the flower beds.
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Blowin
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whereas I'm personally suspicious about, for example, the meat we eat being full of antibiotics, designed to keep the animals disease free, but no doubt reducing human resistance to illness, I don't share any anxiety about biodegradable material.

Do we keep foxgloves out of our compost because they're full of digitalis? Rhubarb leaves, unlike the stems, are deeply poisonous to eat and I understand bracken contains cyanide but nature seems to have ways of converting all these harmful products into plant nutrients via decomposition.

I routinely use large quantities of newsprint, phone books and even glossy magazines when preparing ground for beans etc and, whilst it would be silly to be too overconfident, I'm not aware of any ill effects.

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Lius
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:15 pm    Post subject: NEWSPAPER Reply with quote

Here is some interesting information:-


http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/materials/organics/pubs/fact.pdf

http://www.ubcbotanicalgarden.org/forums/showthread.php?t=22985


Looks like newspaper is actually good for compost.
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Blowin
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting, Lius.

This is where science and gut feeling meet? Nature overcomes all these problems and I reckon, if it will disappear in your compost heap, 999 times out of 1000 it'll be 100% safe.

Useful info.

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heno55
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for all the replies and opinions ,i think that i will contiue to use paper in the compost heap and cardboard as a weed suppresant and trust mother nature to help me get the balance right
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walltoall
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well said Heno55. Well said Blowin. You are both on the money here.

What follows is MY view which earlier today was posted to the wrong thread by my taking a bait meant for an entirely different kind of fish. .Laughing

I've been composting for some 55years and consider shredded paper (in all forms) to be an important constituent, both from a recycling perspective and getting a proper mix to jizz up bacterial decomposition, control temperature and regulate humidity in the heap. Since c.1954 I've happily used newspaper, magazines, flyers, junk mail, (but not an Argos catalogue oddly enough Evil or Very Mad ) and have never worried at all about being poisoned.

Way back in the 50s our basic ingredient for composting came from an Elsonel dry toilet. Our 'toilet paper' back then was used newspaper, copious amounts I may add, and of course the Elsonal disinfectant which was liberally used in the receptacle. The full buckets were decanted onto the compost heap along with rhubarb leaves (previously mentioned above as being toxic)

It may come as surprise to those of you with birth dates this side of 1960 to hear that until the KnowAllBrigade banned its use in chip shops, the standard wrapping for a " one'n'one " was used newspaper. Indeed the modern white paper used for the same purpose is 'newspaper' that has NOT been printed on. It is of course recycled and a chemical analysis of the fabric would make your hair stand on end.

There has never ever been any study anywhere that conclusively proved that ingested ink from used newspaper was a hazard to human or animal health. I have known of goats which were fed shredded newspaper as part of their diet as the owner believed it helped their digestion and improved the flavour of the milk. I am not an expert on hamsters but I understand that their commonest bedding is shredded newspaper and that they chew and ingest it happily.

Within my house are a number of plants whose primary purpose is to soak up formaldehyde and benzene and other lethal carbon ring compounds which exude for years from chipboard, MDF, synthetic fabrics in carpets and clothes. These lethal chemicals, released into the home itself and breathed in by the inhabitants are KNOWN carcigons. In my house they are processed out of the domestic air by my plants. The carcigons are totally 'absorbed' by the complex organic compounds being reduced BY THE PLANTS into elemental forms of C, O, and H and simple compounds such as O2, CO2 and H2Oalll of which are not only found in normal healthy air, but are essential for life to exist on this planet.

It is disingenuous to bring asbestos into this argument. Coal dust was responsible for considerably more deaths over the past 200 years, but you don't hear people talk about it. Fumes from coal fires was another introduced hazard which killed tens of thousands. Until it was copped as hazardous, DDT was used in vast quantities.

The argument here is whether printing inks get into the food chain and the answer is emphatically NO.

I'm happy that my garden plants choose the nutrients they need by selective osmosis and ignore what they don't need. I'm happy to eat everything edible I produce in my garden because, inter-alia, my plants are looking out for me and saving me from foolishness. Not so sure about bought in ones though. ENDS

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Blowin
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ain't it great to be old, Walltoall? As one of a 1943 vintage I'm glad I was born when I was.
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walltoall
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:01 pm    Post subject: Is printed paper toxic Reply with quote

This here thread runs in parallel with another absolutely identical one entitiled

" Is newspaper a compost toxic"

http://www.gardenplansireland.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=22998#22998

Maybe it's possible to merge them ? I dunno.But their are good points coming out on both threads . Over on the other, Medieval Knievel has come up with an interesting bit of info about eating food which has been packed in cardboards and papers containing mineral printing inks. It is definitely woth a look because it may explain why they banned the good ole one and one from being served up in old newspaper.

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