Food Grade Chemical Codex Amorphous Silica
Diatomaceous earth (DE) is a naturally occurring, soft, siliceous sedimentary rock that is easily crumbled into a fine white to off-white powder. It has a particle size ranging from less than 1 micron to more than 1 millimeter, but typically 10 to 200 microns. This powder has an abrasive feel, similar to pumice powder, and is very light, due to its high porosity. The typical chemical composition of oven- dried diatomaceous earth is 80 to 90% silica, with 2 to 4% alumina (attributed mostly to clay minerals) and 0.5 to 2% iron oxide.
Diatomaceous earth consists of fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae. It is used as a filtration aid, as a mild abrasive, as a mechanical insecticide, as an absorbent for liquids, as cat litter, as an activator in blood clotting studies, and as a component of dynamite. As it is also heat-resistant, it can be used as a thermal insulator.
Diatomite forms by the accumulation of the amorphous silica remains of dead diatoms (microscopic single-celled algae) in lacustrine or marine sediments. This DE was mined in the U.S.A.
Since the oldest use of diatomite was as a very mild abrasive, for this purpose, it has been used both in toothpaste and in metal polishes, as well as in some facial scrubs. Food grade DE is regulated by the EPA, FDA, and USDA and should only be used in accordance with their recommendations.
Yes! It is TOTALLY drug and chemical free. It is approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a feed supplement. This food grade of DE is used as an anti-caking agent in animal food by mixing it into the food at a rate of 2% of the dry weight of the food (per the manufacturer’s suggestion). Many people even take one tablespoon of DE daily, mixed into a liquid drink of their choice, as a source of silica—a major mineral we all need that is lacking in our foodstuffs today. We, however, are distributing this product as a safe, natural means of pest control. It has no odor whatsoever and is safe to use around all pets.
Diatomite is also used as an insecticide, due to its physico-sorptive properties. The fine powder absorbs lipids from the waxy outer layer of insects' exoskeletons (A hard outer structure, such as the shell of an insect or crustacean, that provides protection or support for an organism), causing them to dehydrate. Arthropods die as a result of the water pressure deficiency. It is sometimes mixed with an attractant or other additives to increase its effectiveness.
DE can be used for pest control in different ways depending on the problem you want to resolve.
As long as the dust has settled, the birds won’t be inhaling it. So, even though their respiratory systems are so much more sensitive and vulnerable than ours, DE puts off no odor and contains no chemicals that can be harmful to them. If DE is applied near or under bird cages, be careful that wing flapping or flying won’t disturb the settled dust. More information about DE’s safety is available on the internet.
Please Note: The following manufacturer's precautions, from the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet), pertain to dealing with large quantities of the powder.
Risk of Exposure:
Dust may cause eye and respiratory irritation. Exposure to excessive quantities of dust may cause lung damage. Signs and symptoms of lung damage include coughing, tightness in chest, shortness of breath, and damage to the lung tissue.
Use an approved respirator and goggles. Work areas should be equipped with adequate dust collection or exhaust ventilation.
Eyes—flush with clean water to remove dust.
Inhalation—Remove to fresh air.
For 24 hour assistance, contact Chemtec at 1-800-424-9300.
Please request a copy via e-mail of the entire MSDS from the manufacturer of this product.
DOES IT REALLY WORK?
Yes! I, Karen Bastis, first used DE (Diatomaceous Earth) to prevent Caribbean Crazy Ants from infesting my home during the summer of 2009. They had taken over the entire lawn (1.75 acres), lanai, driveway, and even some rotten wood in the eaves of the roof.
By applying DE at the base of my sliding glass doors, exterior doors and under the garage door, the ants never took control of the house. I read articles about people who had infestations so bad that they literally shoveled the ants up each morning. Prior to using DE, I did much research to ensure it would be safe to use around my birds.