Different Types of Diatomaceous Earth For a Variety of Purposes  

by Pool Builders on 08-31-2011 in Articles

The term €diatomaceous earth€ may sound foreign and alien to you, because not everyone has heard of this filtering medium. However, it's a term you're going to run across more and more often as it takes its place among the marvels of the 21st century. Used in many different applications, diatomaceous earth (DE) has proven effective, efficient, and inexpensive. It's also a substance that happens naturally in nature where there seems to be an unending supply. Those are the reasons that the material is becoming more popular and is being used in a number of different ways. So how can it be used to make your life better, and how can you know which type will be the best for your purposes?

One of the most common uses for DE is in swimming pool water filtration. DE is made up of the fossilized remains of tiny plants called diatoms. Some of the material is used in its natural state, and other types have been treated with various chemicals. The empty cells that have been left by the dying plants are tiny enough to remove even small contaminants from pool water, so it is an excellent choice as a filter. You can purchase DE filtration from a store that carries swimming pool supplies. Just be sure that the kind you select has been treated for optimum filtration and that you purchase a quantity large enough to treat your entire pool.

It might surprise you to know that there is a food grade of DE that has been approved for use by both the FDA and the EPA. This material is used in various types of medical products. When buying items for medicinal purposes, it's important that you check and make sure that the DE it contains is really food grade. Not all products, especially some foreign imports, are made to U.S. standards, so you want to be aware of what you're getting.

Pesticides and insecticides often make use of the properties that diatomaceous earth contains. DE products in this grade also contain 33% silicon, 20% calcium, 5% sodium, 3% magnesium, 2% iron, and trace amounts of minerals such as copper and titanium. The products containing this mixture are non-toxic for humans. However, DE products can contain dust which will be irritating to the linings of your respiratory tract. This means that if you should inhale the tiny particles, they may cause allergies and other respiratory issues to flare up. If you have breathing difficulties, you'll either want to wear a mask while using such products or else select another type of product.

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