2. What is Diatomaceous Earth?
Diatomaceous earth is a naturally occurring sand extracted from the earth.
There are two main types of diatomaceous earth: food grade, which is suitable for consumption, and filter grade, which is toxic to humans but has many industrial uses.
This is what food grade diatomaceous earth looks like:
The diatoms in diatomaceous earth are largely made up of a chemical compound called silica.
Silica is commonly found in nature, from sand and rocks to plants and humans. However, diatomaceous earth is a concentrated source of silica, which makes it unique (2).
Commercially available diatomaceous earth is said to contain 80 to 90% silica, several other trace minerals and small amounts of iron oxide (rust) (1).
Bottom Line: Diatomaceous earth is a type of sand that consists of fossilized algae. It is rich in silica, a substance that has many industrial uses.
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