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Biosolids

Proceedings of the Biosolids Exposure Measurement Workshop

Sewage Sludge is generated during the processing of wastewater.  These sludges are further treated, primarily to reduce the concentration of pathogens, to produce biosolids which are then beneficially used on land.  In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency regulates biosolids through the 1993 40 CFR Part 503 regulations.  A 2002 National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council report, "Biosolids Applied to Land: Advancing Standards and Practices," concluded that additional scientific work was needed to reduce uncertainty about human health effects from exposure to biosolids. The final Agency response to this report was published in the Federal Register in 2003.  The response included an action plan with 14 projects related to the treatment and disposal of biosolids.  One of these projects was to conduct a Biosolids Exposure Measurement Workshop.  This workshop was held March 16-17, 2006, at the Andrew W. Breidenbach Environmental Research Center, Cincinnati, OH.

This document is a summary of the workshop.  It describes presentations given by 16 experts on issues relevant to measuring human exposure to biosolids contaminants and outlines the topics covered during a panel discussion session.  It concludes with a list of research needs that, if met, will enable the environmental community to better evaluate human exposure to biosolids contaminants.  In the long-run, the goal of this workshop is to help enable the Agency to better assess the risk associated with the land application of biosolids.

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