Frequently Asked Questions
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If DE stays dry how long is it effective?
It actually stays effective as long as it is dry. However, as it gets covered with dust or dirt over a period of time, it becomes less effective.
Why haven't I heard more about DE before now?
DE is a naturally occurring product that can't be patented. That means it is of little interest to the drug companies. Many individuals buying DE are doing so because of referrals from family or friends. DE doesn't generate enough profits to pay for the advertising and marketing that supports OTC and prescription drugs.
Many people claim DE is especially dangerous if inhaled, is this true?
NO. There is confusion because Food Grade DE and Commercial Filtering DE have the same name. Filter grade DE is heated to over 1,000 degrees and then fluxed with additional chemicals to crystallize it. These additional step makes it a valuable filtering agent, but also cause it to be dangerous to people and pets.
The World Heath Organization states that DE needs to be less than 2% crystalline silica to be generally considered safe. Filter grade DE is 60% crystalline silica. Filter grade DE is dangerous and should be handled with extreme caution.
All Lumino DE is less than 1\2 of 1% crystalline silica and all other sediments that are considered unsafe by the FDA are below harmful limits. This is four times more than the recommended maximum for safety. Lumino DE is a fine powder, and should be used with caution, as any powder should be, by those with respiratory complications, such as asthma.
How do I use DE in food storage?
The recommended ratio is one cup of DE for every forty pounds of grain or legume product. This is approximately one cup of DE for a five-gallon container. Both the DE and grain need to be dry for even coating and equal distribution. Mixing smaller batches makes this easier.
I keep reading about all the benefits for humans. Why isn't this mentioned on the label?
EPA labeling regulations are extremely restrictive regarding what is allowed (as well as what must appear) on a label when it is used as an insecticide. That aside, almost everyone in our office, lab, and warehouse takes a teaspoon or more of DE in a glass of water or juice every day. Most of us take it for four reasons: 1) we spend time around a variety of animals, 2) we travel to foreign countries, 3) we spend much time outside in the garden and 4) as a mineral additive, the high concentration of silica is great for our skin, hair, and nails.
I understand how DE kills fleas and mites on pets, but how does it kill internal parasites?
There are two schools of thought on how this works. The first is that it kills internally the same as externally, that is by absorbing lipids from the waxy outer layer of the insect's exoskeleton, causing them to dehydrate.
The second, and the one I tend to favor, is that the alkaline ph level, combined with the high concentration of minerals, drives the parasites out of the body looking for more favorable surroundings.