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Monday, May 14, 2018

Is Ironite Safe to Use for Vegetable Gardens?

Q. Is Ironite safe to use in a vegetable garden? I have read somewhere that it’s not, but the label says you can use it.
The Ironite sold years ago is not the same product as it is now. 

A. The current Ironite products are totally different from the original Ironite product but carry the same name. Ironite was, and still is, a soil amendment/fertilizer used for correcting yellowing plants growing in alkaline soil. The original Ironite product did two things; it lowered the soil pH and added iron to the soil. It created a very good name for itself in the landscape and golf industry.
            The original Ironite product came from recycled mine tailings. These tailings also contained heavy metals; lead and arsenic being the two that got Ironite into trouble. There was a long controversy regarding whether the lead and arsenic were problematic for food crops.
            The Ironite label was changed to exclude applications to food crops to circumvent this problem. The old product came to an end when the mine supplying tailings used by Ironite was declared an EPA Superfund site in about 2005 and closed.
            Ironite is now owned by Central Garden & Pet Company, through its subsidiary, Pennington. It is a totally different product from the Superfund site days but carries the same name. Because of its industry reputation, a line of products carrying the Ironite name has evolved.
            So, in a nutshell, Ironite is not the same product as it was years ago. The Environmental Protection Agency allows the label to include application to food crops.

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