<figcaption>Caroline Snyder Credit: COURTESY OF CAROLINE SNYDER</figcaption>

It was sometime in the late 1990s that Caroline Snyder first read news reports about a couple in Greenland, NH, who were blaming recycled sewage sludge - also known as biosolids - for the death of their son. Although she was an environmental scientist, Snyder didn't really know anything about sludge, but the story piqued her interest because she had recently retired to New Hampshire after 20 years of teaching at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).

Snyder soon discovered that the US Congress had banned dumping sludge into the ocean in the late 1980s, and the Environmental Protection Agency had drafted new rules allowing such sludge to be used as fertilizer. Although she was experienced in environmental activism, sludge was something new to her, and different. At the time, she was working to draft a bill that would prohibit aerial pesticide spraying...

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