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

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19 responses

  1. Kym

    I just bought a huge bag of your product, and I want to treat my house and my dog. How much do I give to her (she is 60lbs) and how often do i give it to her as well as how do you recommend treating the house for ants, silver fish, etc?? thank you…

    June 29, 2012 at 9:01 am

    • Hi Kym,

      At this time, Red Lake Diatomaceous Earth is registered only for use in livestock feed as an anti-caking agent and flow aid and can be added to feed at a rate of 2%. Due to this fact, we are not able to provide specific measurements for feeding the product to animals for purposes other than this registered use.

      In most studies, DE is included in the feed on a daily basis at a rate of 2%.

      We are aware that individuals do use our product for many purposes other than its registered use, including as a natural pest control product. From what we hear these individuals have seen great success using the product against crawling insects including fleas, ticks, mites, ants, silverfish, etc.

      For more information on how diatomaceous earth is often applied please see Diatomaceous Earth: Is This A Super-Product?

      June 29, 2012 at 10:25 am

  2. Cheyenna

    So, im confused on the difference between the food grade & feed grade. food grade is ok for human consumption & thats the white kind. feed grade or codex is for animals like cats, dogs, birds & livestock & thats the brown/grey kind? if im wrong please tell me the difference. I bought the brown grey kind for my cats to put in their food for worms & bedding for fleas. But then google got me all messed up on the difference between the two! I just want to make sure i use the right kind, thanks :)

    June 16, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    • Cheyenna

      ok so i found a link where it talks about what food chemical codex is , but theres no dosage on the bag, & online i read not to go over 2% of of it for the whole amount of food daily. Soooo.. i understand that as it means for a small animal, i have rabbits, adult cats & thats about a 1/2 to 1 tsp for them depending on body weight & kittens 5 weeks old so for them just a trace amount in their food should be ok? Also can be used as a exterior flea/tick preventative? Am i understanding DE correctly? Another thing is the contents of the bag say 95% ash??

      June 16, 2012 at 3:42 pm

      • Hi Cheyenna,

        I’m glad you were able to find some of the answers you were looking for. As you may know, food chemical codex grade refers to a product that contains less than 1% crystalline silica and is registered for use as a food processing and filtering aid (as long as the product is not contained in any final goods meant for sale). And feed grade refers to the fact that the product meets certain specifications in terms of heavy metal content. At this time, there are no DE products registered for human consumption.

        Red Lake Earth is registered only for use as an anti-caking agent and flow aid in livestock feed (for more information please see: What is a Pelleting Aid and Flow Agent), to be added at a rate of up to 2%. Due to the fact that our product is not registered for anything other than this, we are unable to recommend specific dosages. In order to figure out how much of the product can be added to to your animals’ feed (for the purpose of anti-caking), please see Diatomaceous Earth in Animal Feed: Easy Measurement Formula.

        Red Lake Earth is not currently registered for use against fleas and ticks however, we are aware that many individuals do use diatomaceous earth for this purpose.

        This statement on the bag (contains 95% ash) is printed on there to signify that the product has no nutritional value. The product itself contains approximately 67% diatomaceous earth and 33% montmorillonite (also known as calcium bentonite).

        I hope this helps! If you have any more questions please let us know!

        June 18, 2012 at 8:56 am

      • cheyenna, I use DE on my pets & Livestock as a daily wormer, flea control, etc… I feed 1/2 tsp to cats and 1 tsp to dog (80pds). you can free feed chickens. DE has kept my pets healthier and I think the fleas and ticks dont like their blood anymore. No problems with flies on the livestocks poop either this summer. chicken coop is fly free too!! I think it is a great detox for pets as well from BAD stuff in their pet food and I only do the rabies vaccine now as the rest are to toxic. I also use DE to store food (rice,pasta, flour, etc) longterm. I mix it in and eat it!! Great to keep pet food from going bad and getting moldy. The food chemical codex (grey) is what I use. Calcium bentonite will bind to and extract toxins from the body. Many swear by it and use it on kids. I have been adding it to food and no one has gotten sick !!!

        July 30, 2012 at 12:12 pm

  3. kim

    I accidently put the pool grade DE in my house to get rid of fleas, not realizing it was the wrong kind.(the store sold me the wrong kind when I asked for pest control DE) How can I get it out safely without inhaliing it? I sprinlked it using a mask, but I’m afraid to spend too much time near it. How dangerous is it? Can I safely vacume it up using a face mask or what would you advise?


    June 4, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    • Hi Kim,

      Unfortunately, due to the fact that our Red Lake Diatomaceous Earth products are food grade, I have never worked directly with pool grade DE therefore I am unsure of the precautions that you should take. I would suggest contacting the manufacturer of the brand that you purchased and asking them how to best go about getting rid of it.

      Sorry I couldn’t be of much help!

      June 6, 2012 at 8:19 am

  4. I was given some DE and I am not sure which type it is. How can I tell if it is food grade vs pool grade?

    April 24, 2012 at 10:56 am

    • Hi Susan,

      It should specify on the packaging. Red Lake Diatomaceous Earth is labelled “Food Chemical Codex Grade” which means that the product is food grade. The packaging may also state that the product contains less than 1% crytalline silica, also meaning that it is food grade.

      In the case that you do not have the original packaging I would recommend contacting the person you received the product from and ensuring that it is food grade (and does not contain any added chemicals) before using it, as pool grade DE can be dangerous if inhaled or ingested.

      I hope this helps!

      April 24, 2012 at 11:14 am

      • So you can’t smell it or taste it to know the difference?

        April 24, 2012 at 4:19 pm

        • Hi Susan,

          The difference between food grade and pool grade DE is that pool grade diatomaceous earth has been treated at a very high temperature, producing high levels of crystalline silica. Unfortunately, I do not believe the two products look or smell any different from one another. I would not recommend tasting the product, as pool grade DE is dangerous to consume.

          April 25, 2012 at 8:42 am

  5. Amy Comerchero

    Can you use crystalline silica for pools on the lawn to control fleas and ticks? Cats and people hang out on the lawn a lot. Thanks so much! Amy

    March 23, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    • Hi Amy,

      Food grade diatomaceous earth should be used for this purpose, as “pool grade” DE (diatomaceous earth that has been calcined and contains more than 1% crystalline silica) can be dangerous if inhaled or ingested. Pool grade DE should only be used for filtration (ex. in swimming pools).

      March 23, 2012 at 4:02 pm

  6. GH

    Your article is clear that DE for swimming pools shouldn’t be used for food purposes, but can food grade DE be used for swimming pool filters?

    February 13, 2012 at 6:32 am

    • While I cannot speak for all food grade DE products, Red Lake Earth is not recommended for use in swimming pool filters due to the fact that it contains calcium bentonite which may clog the filter.

      February 13, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    • Stephanie

      NO it has a completely different texture and crystalline structure and that is why it works as a filter. When the food grade gets wet it can get like mud the pool grade acts like a barrier and will allow water to pass through but not matter.

      October 28, 2012 at 4:07 pm

  7. Pam Looman

    Is this product for Human consumption????????

    December 20, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    • Hi Pam,

      At this time there are no diatomaceous earth products that are registered for human consumption. This is due to the fact that not enough testing has been done on DE to show any positive or negative effects. That being said, we are aware that customers do consume our product however, this is at their own risk. We recommend that anyone wanting to consume diatomaceous earth use various research methods and their own discretion in making a decision.

      For more information on diatomaceous earth for human consumption check out: Diatomaceous Earth for Humans: What You Don’t Know

      December 21, 2011 at 2:14 pm

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