polymers for plants

Jon Monroe monroejd at jmu.edu
Sat May 19 12:08:17 EST 2001

> Using polymers to reduce watering,reduce leaching of fertilizer,improve soil
> conditions,propagate seeds crystal water polymer a super absorbant non-toxic
> polymer that swell to 400 times its size and slow releases water to indoor,
> outdoor ,plants tress shrubs and grasses.For more info:
> http;//galaxymall.com/garden/crystal_water_polymer

If this is the same stuff I came across in my kid's elementary school
classroom a few years ago, it is polyacrylamide and the kids were
playing with it with bare hands.  They say it is a "Non-toxic polymer,
safe for home use", but that contradicts what we protein biochemists
have always been taught.  True, the polymer is probably safe, but the
polymer always contains some monomer and the monomer is a known
neurotoxin that passes through the skin and accumulates in the body. 
What are we to believe?  Have the appropriate MSDS sheets been
generated?  Or were MSDS sheets generated with the intended use being as
a soil amendment and not likely to be touched by kids?  Am I over reacting?

By the way CRSTALWTR, please don't use Plant-ed to distribute unpaid
advertisements in the future.  Thanks.

Jon Monroe
Plant-ed discussion co-leader and concerned parent

Jonathan D. Monroe, Associate Professor
Department of Biology, MSC 7801  
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, VA 22807 
office: 540-568-6649
fax: 540-568-3333
email: monroejd at jmu.edu


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