EARTHWORKS

Letter to Lowe's about Ironite Fertilizer

Letter to Lowe’s about Ironite Fertilizer
We have serious concerns about this product because it contains arsenic and lead.

Published: June 11, 2002

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Robert L. Tillman
Chief Executive Officer
Lowe s Companies, Inc.
PO Box 1111
North Wilkesboro, NC 28656

Dear Mr. Tillman:

We, the undersigned organizations, are writing to request that Lowe's discontinue the sale of Ironite fertilizer. We know that you will be as concerned as we are about this particular fertilizer product because of your commitment to the environment and public health, demonstrated by your recent decision to phase out chromated copper arsenate in pressure-treated wood produc ts before the official Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)/industry agreement takes effect.

In 1997, The Seattle Times published an award-winning exposé, "Fear in the Fields: How Hazardous Wastes Become Fertilizer" (enclosed). The Times report revealed that many fertilizers-both agricultural and consumer-are being made from toxic industrial waste including that from steel mills, pulp mills, cement kilns, mining, and other industries. These fertilizers may contain nutrients to help plants grow, but they can also contain toxic heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury, as well as dioxins.

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