All Diatomaceous Earth is not the same.

Courtesy of our supplier, Perma-Guard:

“Diatomaceous Earth packaged under our Fossil Shell Flour®label comes from an extremely pure fresh water deposit of fossilized Aulacoseira diatoms created in the Miocene epoch. Why is this diatom so special? Its shell is made of amorphous silica. Its shape and hardness in the fossilized form are important to how it works. Its hardness keeps it from dissolving in liquid. The diatom’s tubular shape and holes along the diatom’s wall allow it to absorb moisture, hence its use as an anti-caking agent.  The tubular shape of the diatom gives it more surface area than other shaped diatoms. This means it has a greater absorptive capacity with the holes that open to the center and improved mixing and flow of animal feed. Fossil Shell Flour® does not swell, does not absorb nutrients and poses no long term hazard when used as an anti-caking agent in your animal’s feed.  Fossil Shell Flour ® consists of 89% (and often more) Silicon Dioxide plus numerous trace minerals. Fossil Shell Flour® is almost pure white when dry and appears light tan when wet. Other diatomaceous earth deposits often contains an excess of a particular mineral such as iron or a high percentage of clay giving it a darker color or a reddish tint.

Fresh water vs. salt water Diatomaceous Earth
Fresh water deposits like ours have a consistent diatom presence. Their fossilized shells have maintained their tubular shape. This shape and strength of the fossil shell is critical to its effectiveness. Our deposit has 89 – 92 percent amorphous silica content. This deposit is also more consistent in its purity. A fresh water deposit is confined to the runoff water of its surrounding environment. A fresh water deposit in the mountains, such as ours, formed when snow was pure and its run off provided the water source these diatoms lived in. Salt water deposits contain a mix of types of diatoms of different shapes. Their fossilized shells are fragile and break easily. This renders them ineffective for our purposes. The salt water deposits are less predictable in their sediments due to their open environment.

What’s the difference between amorphous and crystalline silica?
Amorphous (click here for definition) silica is silica in its natural occurring state. It is a trace mineral every mammal on the planet needs to live. Diatoms are found in all water sources and are the main food for aquatic life.  Diatomaceous earth becomes crystalline when it is exposed to extreme heat by commercial manufacturing means and in minute amounts through naturally occurring extreme heat such as volcanic activity. The type of diatomaceous earth used in swimming pool and other, filtration systems is crystalline silica that has been heated to make it crystalline. Crystalline silica is extremely dangerous when inhaled or ingested. It is not biodegradable. Perma-Guard Diatomaceous Earth contains less than one half of 1% of crystalline silica and is considered GRAS (generally regarded as safe). OSHA considers safe levels of crystalline silica as 1% or less. Naturally occurring crystalline silica is found in all water sources and the dirt blowing in the air during dust storms.  Diatomaceous Earth is not sand (click here for article).

Perma-Guard Fossil Shell Flour® is OMRI listedCertified Kosher and is accepted for use in the Organic Certification process.”