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Recycling investment


#1

I recently received an email about recycling investment. Using it in
the garden to enrich the soil. Does anyone know anything about this,
it is the last piece of the green techniques I need to put in place.
Thanks bunches,

Michelle


#2

As best as I can figure, the "enrichment"of the soil using used
investment would be largely dependent upon the the acidity level of
your soil. Investment is quite basic so it is of great use where
soil is naturally acidic. Here in Colorado Springs, our soil is
naturally basic in most areas, so investment would be doing little if
any good (and, perhaps, some harm to growing conditions). The
exception is where there are conifers growing. The fallen needles of
these trees tend to make the soil within drip line very acidic and
thus “liming” is recommended to amend the soil for most of the usual
plants one would want to grow in these areas ( most of the common
decorative varieties, grass, etc.) You would need a simple pH testing
of your soil (kits available at most garden centers) to determine
acidity levels and know what the requirements of the crop you were
going to plant to determine whether or not using investment would be
beneficial.

Just my humble (semi-educated gardener’s) opinion,

Paul D. Reilly


#3
I recently received an email about recycling investment. Using it
in the garden to enrich the soil. Does anyone know anything about
this, it is the last piece of the green techniques I need to put in
place. Thanks bunches, 

Neither silica or gypsum (plaster) are of much use in "enriching"
the soil, I don’t think. And if you’ve got traces of metals in there,
that might not be a good thing. But aside from the metal, it probably
wouldn’t harm the soil. Of more concern to me is that investment is
made with very fine grained silica flour. When dry, that powder in
the air is very much not a good thing to breath. Wet, it’s reasonably
safe. But mixing it into the soil doesn’t somehow bind it up. So if
it’s been a dry month, and wind kicks up the dry dust, you could be
breathing in a higher percentage of stuff you probably shouldn’t be
breathing in. Probably this is a very small risk, but somehow I can’t
quite think of it as “green”. And I don’t think it’s going to be
helping your plants grow any better either.

Just impressions. Maybe I’m wrong. But just because you physically
can mix the used investment into your garden soil doesn’t mean it’s a
beneficial thing to do…

Peter


#4

Hi Michelle,

I had tried to reach you several times.

Recycling investment is not a good idea. Many of the investments
used are implicated in autoimmune diseases, liver and/or kidney
diseases, and many more. They are often not considered a hazard in
MSDS sheets except for their breathability, though these implications
are often mentioned. An ‘implication’ means there has not been
adequate studies done to prove conclusively that there is a direct
link and ALSO means there is no conclusive proof it does not (which
is a clue, as most companies will spend vast amounts of money to
prove there is no danger where they can).

Much like every other aspect of creating the greenest business
environment you can, the research goes into each product you use in
making that determination. My own lists are half-finished, as the
repeatedly contradicts itself. i.e. if exposure to this
is shown in only a few studies to affect your body’s immune
function/disfunction, how is it that there is no restriction on where
it’s dumped? (This info is in a book that I’ve put a lot of time and
work into…due out soon.)

Watch out for companies trying to make themselves look greener.
While there may be some products that are safe for your garden, many
are not. They are not direct environmental hazards, though, so
companies can recommend such ‘recycling’ methods in spite of
implications to the contrary. Some contain products that can
contaminate the water tables just as readily as pesticides. It is NOT
considered ‘green’ to contaminate the water tables, the soil, or
anything else. So read and research the before
advertising it…you’re better off not mentioning that aspect at all
if you aren’t 100% certain.

Kim Paluch
http://of-the-earth.org


#5

There is a company in canada that sells the “little torch” for
jewellery work. Its a fine torch and I’ve used one for 15 years now,
it comes with varying sized heads to adjust the size and intensity of
the flame. (allowing you to do everything from melt and pour metal to
doing fine retipping on very small diamond settings) You can also buy
an adaptor from them that will allow the little torch to be used with
disposible canisters of propane or acetelyne and oxygen. the link is
as follows: http://www.lacywest.com


#6

Michelle

I have been recycling my investment in my garden for many years. It
is,after all, heavy on the cristobalite and trydimite and various
forms of quartz sand etc. the investment tends to loosen the soil and
keep it moist. Try it. Cheers, Don in SOFL


#7

Actually gypsum does improve many soils but by increasing the tilling
ability not as a fertilizer. It won’t hurt any where. see

http://home.clara.net/tmac/urgring/faqsoil1.htm

a UK site but is helpful in the US too particularly in any place with
heavy clay soils that give poor drainage. It needs to be mixed in to
the soil not just dumped on top. Mulch is also good although grass
clippings mat and need to be carefully added to prevent forming a
carpet.-- Wood chips are a super mulch.

jesse


#8
Recycling investment is not a good idea. Many of the investments
used are implicated in autoimmune diseases, liver and/or kidney
diseases, and many more. They are often not considered a hazard in
MSDS sheets except for their breathability, though these
implications are often mentioned. 

What exactly is the material you are referring to here,
cristobalite? silica ? gypsum? There is not much else in investment
maybe some wetting agents.

If you are going to make claims like this provide some more detail
please.

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#9

Gypsum is a god source of Calcium. It also contains sulphur, which
is short supply in many agricultural soils. Often it is said to
acidify the soils (the sulphur) but more often the bit of
acidification is far outweighed by the addition of the calcium and
often, both are needed anyway even though the soil is acid. If one is
in an area low in calcium, calcium if often more important to put on
the soil than most any other fertilizer/nutrient as proper calcium
levels will allow all sorts of other soil solution reactions to take
place. It is also one of the very important elements in plant cell
structure. Blossom end rot on tomatoes, summer squash or rot/soft/
brown centers of apples and especially pears is a sign of low
calcium. As to the toxicity of the Crystobolite that MIGHT be in the
used investment (if it wasn’t added by the manufacturer or you didn’t
go higher that 1600 F in burnout) there should not be any. There are
some propriety things added (fiberglass fibers and ???) that I cannot
comment on. But if the spent investment is worked into the soil,
there should not be any dust to worry about and a good healthy soil
holds on to, breaks down and/or uses all sorts materials, far more
than the NPK “fertilizers” though of today as the main plant “foods”.

Also the reason the spent investment makes the soil lighter or
easier to till, is it allows better “flocculation” for small crumbles
of soil to form, holding more water and air (very important in
healthy soils) to be present. Sheet rock trimmings are a great (free)
resource for calcium, can be used in the garden paths this year and
tilled in next, giving less soil compaction from walking on the
soil, weed control, water control and a mineral source for next year.

John Dach


#10
There is not much else in investment maybe some wetting agents. 

Much has been said about this, and it’s mostly all true, as far as
it goes. Used investment may or may not help your soil chemically -
it may alter the Ph which is good or bad, it will add a sandy
component which is good or bad - we have some clay spots where it
might help fluff up. What hasn’t been said that’s significant is
that it is sterile. It always was sterile, but when you burned it
out you made sure of it. Most soil amendments are “live” - compost,
potting soil, etc. all have living organisms in them that contribute
to the whole soil environment thing. That doesn’t mean investment is
bad, just that it’s only good as a sandy substance that may alter
your ph, and no more.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#11

James,

I’m sorry. I’ve been researching these things for a while now, and I
forget that others are like me, and like to know the basic info. If
you want to know more, look up crystalline silica (that’s the silica
used…I believe it’s safer than some forms of silica, but safer
doesn’t mean safe, harmless, or good garden additive.)

Below is one of the MSDS files I have. The problematic portion is
the silica. It isn’t only a problem when breathed in, but also a
problem when in contact. In minimal amounts of contact, the hazards
are not so apparent (or numerous).

I have about 1000 pages of info on the contents of these products. I
do not believe ANYONE would want to mix it with water and drink it,
no matter the concentration. And yet, for many people, that is what
placing this stuff in the garden would do. Water tables and water
supplies are easily affected and rarely tested for such things due to
cost and time it takes for testing.

My statements were not intended to imply the products, used as
advised (with extreme care for respiratory health and safety, minimal
contact) were imminently dangerous. There are cautions and
precautions, as with any hazardous chemical.

Crystalline silica (used in most, if not all, commonly used
investments) has very specific hazards and reported hazards. These
are not things you want in your garden, particularly if you are
concerned with ‘being green’ about your jewelry business.

Michelle specifically was asking about putting investment in her
garden, and if this was ‘the one last measure her company needed to
be green’. My answer to her is an emphatic NO! Anyone who is
concerned about going green, rather than using the words (because it
sounds good), ought to know this. Heck, everyone ought to know this.
It’s the purpose in me writing my book…because jewelry making
doesn’t have to be one compromise after another for socially and
environmentally conscious people.

Now, in context of our culture, putting your investment into your
dirt (buried very deep so none blows away and affects neighbors with
asthma, COPD, etc. when it’s brought to surface by natural processes)
is probably the same as putting insecticides and other chemicals into
your garden and on your lawn. Some people don’t care what the
environmental effects are. Okay. But if you start telling folks it’s
’green’ and more people do it, the area becomes much less safe to
breathe in (it doesn’t mix with the soil and remains respirable
crystal silica).

So, again, I repeat…is it good for your garden, and ‘green’? No,
it isn’t, and no it isn’t. In fact, as you read the MSDS below (the
company provides the silica that a good number of investments
contain), you will see that it’s not considered overly dangerous,
just bad for the lungs (don’t breathe it if you can help it) and is
implicated in autoimmune diseases. Those are the words of the
company. They just aren’t at the top in bold letters to make it easy
to see.

Kim


#12

To a point this is true, BUT only to a point. Limestone, often used
as a soil amendment to raise Ph and add the needed calcium and
balance the cat ion exchange ratio in the soil, it too is sterile. As
is rock phosphate. As it other rock powders that are being used more
and more as mineral sources. Actually N-P-K is sterile as is ammonia
(what is often being directly shanked into the crop area as a
nitrogen source. Lots of use in the plains states. It KILLS most
everything as does salt nitrogen (Urea and the like, the bagged
commercial and boxed packaged for garden use). It is the N in the N-
P-K mix, but the P and the K is also sterile and killing. Urea was
used in WWII on pacific islands to get the sand to pack to make the
runways more solid. It killed what soil life was there keeping the
sand “lofted” rather than packed.

The sterility is not a problem. The materials is being added as a
nutritional material not a biological material, but the biology
already in the soil will utilize it as needed. If one has
biologically active soil, the addition of more living organisms is
not as important as feeding the biology that is already there and
active. It won’t hurt to add more biology via composts and such,
can’t do anything but help, but the organisms MUST be fed to keep
them alive and happy so that they can do what they do. Soil and
plant nutrition is MUCH MORE COMPLEX than what is generally dealt
with in discussions about plant nutrition.

John Dach


#13

My apologies to everyone…the MSDS portions were removed as
’clutter’ I believe. If you look up crystalline silica msds you’ll
find a fair few files. The is usually about 1/4 of the
way into the material or so. Look around for human implications,
health concerns, etc. and decide for yourself. As I’d said…my
answer is purely for the purpose of making your site ‘green’. Whether
you do it because you believe in it or because you hope for the added
business worth of the feature, it’s not a good idea, and someone
somehow will open that can of worms. Easier to just skip the can and
get real ones.

I don’t speak of these things to hear my own voice. I was trained on
research from a young age. The research I do is thorough and often
involves at least a few interviews, the for and the against, before I
commit them to paper. I do research for independent companies,
individuals, and this time for our own company and a useful little
handbook on the environment. I’ve been invited to work with several
groups on a special project, so I’m pretty excited and willing to
share a lot of this anywhere.

If you want more email me privately. I’m not making any
more calls to offer or assistance. That way those who
don’t want it or are tired of the subject don’t have to hear it, and
I’m not chasing after folks who really don’t want the

Kim Paluch
http://of-the-earth.org


#14
I'm sorry. I've been researching these things for a while now, and
I forget that others are like me, and like to know the basic info.
If you want to know more, look up crystalline silica (that's the
silica used...I believe it's safer than some forms of silica, but
safer doesn't mean safe, harmless, or good garden additive.) 

It is felt and understood that silica can be damaging if inhaled.
Using good old sand in a sand blaster creates c. silica so one must
be careful. But the wind blows c. silica when it blows. The c. silica
converts to crystobolite at about 1600 F and this stuff is really
more dangerous to breath.

Below is one of the MSDS files I have. The problematic portion is
the silica. It isn't only a problem when breathed in, but also a
problem when in contact. In minimal amounts of contact, the hazards
are not so apparent (or numerous). [snip] Water tables and water
supplies are easily affected and rarely tested for such things due
to cost and time it takes for testing. 

If this is true, then what about the use of the high mountain
glacial waters that are milky due to the finely ground up mineral
(silica is a lot of it) created by the moving glaciers? Some of the
most nutritional foods grown on earth are watered from these water
sources and the locals drink the water. It is even sold in bottled
form.

My statements were not intended to imply the products, used as
advised (with extreme care for respiratory health and safety,
minimal contact) were imminently dangerous. There are cautions and
precautions, as with any hazardous chemical. [snip] Michelle
specifically was asking about putting investment in her garden, and
if this was 'the one last measure her company needed to be green'.
My answer to her is an emphatic NO! Anyone who is concerned about
going green, rather than using the words (because it sounds good),
ought to know this. 

I would not recommend this either, but a highly biologically active
soil will break down or make unavailable, an amazing amount of
"stuff". Ivory liquid in water is a great insecticide, garlic juice
is a great fungicide, tomato plant leaf juice/water mix is a great
way to deal with rose rust. Soil and plant life use a constant
barrage of chemistries to compete and live in the soils… No I would
not recommend dumping hard chemistries on my land or somebody else’s
land (where does the stuff from the transfer stations go,
somebody else’s land away from you!!), but let us have some level of
consideration when looking at MSDS info. MILK has an MSDS sheet. If
used improperly you can drowned in milk and die. This will not stop
me from drinking milk but it can kill you.

Some people don't care what the environmental effects are. Okay.
But if you start telling folks it's 'green' and more people do it,
the area becomes much less safe to breathe in (it doesn't mix with
the soil and remains respirable crystal silica). 

It does mix and like ALL ground rock (quartz for example) it IS
ground silica.

So, again, I repeat...is it good for your garden, and 'green'? No,
it isn't, and no it isn't. In fact, as you read the MSDS below (the
company provides the silica that a good number of investments
contain), you will see that it's not considered overly dangerous,
just bad for the lungs (don't breathe it if you can help it) and is
implicated in autoimmune diseases. Those are the words of the
company. They just aren't at the top in bold letters to make it
easy to see. 

Breathing soap dust from your laundry or dishwasher detergent is
very dangerous too. Think of all of the chemistry you put on your
body every day. Soap, shampoo conditioner, makeup, creams skin
conditioners, vitamins, etc. Look up the MSDS sheets on some of the
stuff in these products and be ready to get shocked. Lots of it is
toxic. Common sense is a must here both looking at the MSDS info and
using/taking the product.

As to jewelers being green, what environmental damage and
HIGHLY toxic materials are used to mine and produce the precious
and/ or non precious metals you use? The solders? The damage done to
the environment to get the stones you use? Be as green as you can but
realize that just being alive, each one of us is a polluter just
being alive.

John Dach


#15
The sterility is not a problem. 

No, I didn’t mean to suggest that it’s a problem, just that there
are amendments, and then there are amendments. Also, I don’t
actually know the specs, but I don’t think investment has much by
way of soluble nutrients, either. If it did, it would dissolve when
you mixed it. IOW, it seems more like adding sand than fertilizer,
to me. But that’s just an impression, I don’t know the specs,
really…

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#16

The humic acids in an active soil will etch many minerals from rock/
sand/clay materials. Calcium is one of the most soluble mineral
elements in soils thus is one that is often short in supply due to
rain water removal over time. Calcium is one of the main ingredients
in the investment and is a VERY important plant nutrient. Also more
elements will dissolve in water than any other liquid, ie the oceans
have most all the elements dissolved in them.

John Dach


#17

Thank you all so much, I have learned a lot through the exchange of
on this subject. What do casting companies do with used
investment? Are there green ways to deal with it? I am concerned for
the planet, and that is the issue. I was talking with a friend, who
is a big green advocate. Our group discussion was that if you look
at all we need to do to be “green” and reduce our impact on the
earth, we might be paralyzed with the enormity of it. So, take it one
step at a time for a better world. With that in mind, what to do with
used investment? What is the best way to deal with it? Thanks,
everyone for your help.

Michelle