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Food Grade vs. Pool Grade Diatomaceous Earth:
The DL on DE

diatomaceous earth


Whether it be for use with livestock, as pest control or as a natural health supplement for humans, the buzz surrounding DE is undeniable. However, there is a lot of confusion regarding the various types of diatomaceous earth and what they can and cannot be used for. So here it is...the 'down low' on DE!


What is the difference between food and feed grade diatomaceous earth?


Although these two types are very similar there is one very important distinction between them. Food Grade DE must meet certain specifications regarding heavy metal content. To be considered Food Grade, the Diatomaceous Earth must not contain more than 10mg/kg of arsenic and no more than 10mg/kg of lead.


What is the difference between food grade and pool grade DE?


The difference here lies with the way that each type of DE is treated. Pool grade DE is calcined, meaning that is treated with very high heat. This turns the silicon dioxide that is present in the DE into crystalline silica. Pool grade diatomaceous earth has more than 1 percent  1% (in fact, it can it can range from 60-70 percent) crystalline silica. Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth, on the other hand, has less than 1% crystalline silica and is not calcined.


What’s the difference between grey and white diatomaceous earth?


DE varies in color due to the fact that each deposit is composed of a unique makeup. The reason that Red Lake Diatomaceous Earth is brownish-grey is that, in addition to diatomaceous earth, this deposit is also enhanced with naturally occurring montmorillonite (also known as calcium bentonite).


Can pool grade DE be used for anything other than filtration?


Because of its high crystalline silica content, pool grade diatomaceous earth should not be used for anything other than filtration.


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Although there are several web-sites out there that indicate all the other benefits of Diatomaceous Earth and the benefits of using DE for human consumption. There are no DE products registered with the FDA for Human Consumption. We advise that you do your own research on the benefits of Diatomaceous Earth and make your own decisions. Choosing to use the product for uses other than what it is registered for is done solely at the risk of the end-user. We are not in the position to advise the use of our RLE products for any purpose other than what the product is registered for and what is indicated on the packaging.